This evening, in a stark reminder of the small margins in boxing, the Cork light welterweight’s defeater has secured a world title fight.
It has been announced by Eddie Hearn that New York-based Trinidadian Mikkel LesPierre [20(9)-0-1] will challenge WBO champ Maurice Hooker on Saturday March 9th. The fight will act as the chief support to Dmitry Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title defence versus Irish-American slugger Joe Smith at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
NEW SHOW! 👊
World Title double header 👑👑
Dmitry Bivol vs Joe Smith Jr 💥
Maurice Hooker vs Mikkel LesPierre 🔥
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) January 18, 2019
LesPierre edged Murphy last February in New York to claim the WBC USA title.
The clash at BB King’s on Times Square saw Murphy lose a tight unanimous decision [92-97, 94-94 x2] to the Caribbean slickster. Indeed, so tight were the scorecards, a late point deduction for the Irishman proved crucial – with the bout having been headed for a majority draw before Murphy was docked for a rabbit punch in the ninth.
Following the win, LesPierre then posted a seventh-round stoppage over underalded Argentine Gustavo David Vittori and now goes into a world title fight.
Macroom’s Murphy will be familiar with both parties in the title clash having spent time in training camp last year with Texan Hooker [25(17)-0-3]. Considering his history with LesPierre, it is quite conceivable that the 24-year-old will be brought into ‘Mighty Mo’s’ camp once again.
Murphy returned to the ring last month but it was an unhappy comeback for the Rebel who was held to a six-round draw by the tricky Andre Byrd in Queens.
In terms of the Woodlawn-based fighter’s future, a St Patrick’s Weekend clash with John Joyce has been suggested – and has prematurely been added to BoxRec – but full confirmation of Murphy’s next fight is still awaited.
Note: Joyce has stated on social media that the fight has been confirmed. Full report forthcoming on Irish-Boxing.com.