Just like Michael Conlan knows his opponent on the massive December 14 Madison Square Garden Top Rank fight card, Noel Murphy [14(2)-1-1] is more than familiar with his.
25-year-old Murphy will appear on the undercard of the big pre Christmas triple header Bob Arum is calling the ‘card of the year’, providing added Irish interest on a bill that see’s Michael Conlan look for Rio revenge.
Belfast’s Conlan faces a fighter he knows all to well in Vladimir Nikitin and will look to avenge the Rio robbery, while the Macroom fighter will get reacquainted with a fighter he has also shared ring time with.
Josue Vargas [14(9)-1-1] will man the opposite corner, on a bill with pound for pound Terence Crawford as he defends his WBO welterweight world title versus Egidijus Kavaliauskas, as well as a mouthwatering IBF lightweight title fight between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez.
The Top Rank prospect provides the former BUI Celtic title holder, who drops back down to light welterweight, with an opportunity to upset the applecart and take a step toward some big fights.
It’s a tough fight, but not a step into the unknown for The Rebel County man. The fighter with strong New York ties shared a gym with the American based Puerto Rican fighter. The future foes are previous sparring partners and if their spars are anything to go by Murphy believes an entertaining fight will play out come December 14.
“It’s going to be a great fight me and Josue trained at the same gym for a spell and sparred together a few years back so we know each other,” Murphy told Irish-Boxing.com.
Vargas is the home fighter, particularly in terms of being signed to Top Rank. The prospect will be favoured to win, but the Cork fighter is confident he can register an upset and is well aware of what victory on such a platform can do for his career.
“I’m very confident going into the fight and to have it on such a big card with the Likes of Conlon and Crawford is unbelievable.”
“A win would push me on to bigger things obviously and these are the fights I want, on big cards against big names.”
Living in Woodlawn, Murphy was last seen headlining Cork’s first show in a decade where he outpointed Adam Mate after he couldn’t secure an opponent for a proposed Irish title fight.
He has had a breakthrough chance before, but was unlucky and even somewhat hard done by when he lost Mikkel LesPierre in February of 2018.
The Trinidad and Tobago fighter since went on to challenge Maurice Hooker for WBO light welterweight title this March but was unsuccessful, being widely outpointed.