Big year for Murray

9 February 2009 – By Cormac Campbell

Andrew Murray is a name on the lips of many Irish boxing fans.

The former amateur star has reeled off an impressive 14 straight victories since turning professional at the Kings Hall in 2005. After a brief spell of inactivity, the result of a managerial dispute, Murray joined the promotional stable of Brian Peters and shifted his training camp to John Breens Belfast base. He returned to the ring on February 7, with a third round stoppage victory over Ali Wyatt.

According to Peters, a significant step up in class is now required for the Cavan stylist.

We will be looking to get him involved in something fairly tasty on the O2 card in March, said Peters after Murray shook off six months of ring rust with a third round stoppage victory of Ali Wyatt in Craigavon on February 7.

The Meath promoters faith in his new charge is such that he believes a push for the EBU lightweight title currently held by Norwich veteran Jonathan Thaxton could be achievable within the next 12 months.

For Andrew we would be looking to crack Europe after the March fight. He is a guy to watch out for. He has been out since last July. But he is back and he shook off that rust tonight.

All the hype seems to be water off Murrays back. A man with no noticeable airs or graces, Murray seems reluctant to talk himself up, but exudes a quiet confidence about the way he goes about his business.

I dont want to get carried away, he told Ive been out of the ring for a while so its just great to get a bit of action.

Having moved home to Cavan from London, Murray now splits the burden of training between his base at Cavan Boxing Club and John Breens growing stable in Belfast. The mix of home comforts and hard sparring appears to be something Murray believes will benefit his career.

Im living at home again and travelling up and down to Belfast to train in Johns gym and also doing a lot of work in Cavan boxing club. Ive only been there a couple of weeks at this stage but the sparring definitely stands out, he admitted.

The quality of this sparring is set to take a noticeable step up in the coming weeks as Murray and gymmates Stephen Haughian and Paul McCloskey prepare for major contests in March.

I havent sparred Paul yet, but when I go back up hell be preparing for a fight and so will I. So that will be a quality spar for me. As Ive said before, if I dont learn in Johns gym I never will.

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