This Saturday in New York City sees the first Irish pro fighter in action this year.
Cork welter Noely Murphy [7(2)-0] is the man who gets Irish boxers underway in 2017 – and the fight will take place on an immensely high-quality card.
The New York-based prospect boxes on the undercard of the WBC-IBF super middleweight unification between Badou Jack and James DeGale at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn. Also on the Premier Boxing Champions bill is an IBF super featherweight title fight between champion Jose Pedraza and Gervonta Davis, a WBO super bantamweight title defence from Amanda Serrano against Yazmin Rivas, and also features Ukrainian star Ievgen Khtrov.
A huge opportunity no doubt, however such is the timing of the card, there was no Christmas homecoming for Murphy who was deep in preparation over the holidays.
While it may not have been ideal, the Rebel wasn’t complaining too much and Murphy explained to Irish-Boxing.com that “it was definitely a bit frustrating, but at the same time I know I have a job to do so I just got on with it. I’m very lucky to be getting on these cards!”
That said, the Lou DiBella-promoted prospect is not focused on the enormity of the occasion – for now. He noted how “at the moment I’m just focused on my own fight so it’s not really making a difference to me right now – but after the fight I’m going to do my best to take it all in and enjoy it.”
In his last fight in November, Murphy took a step up to widely outpoint Mohamed Allam over six rounds. This time round it’s another step up to face local prospect Maxito Sainvil [4(2)-0-1], again over six rounds, and the 22 year old feels that “a win on Saturday is going to be a big statement and I can’t wait for it. Testing yourself against the best opponents is what its all about.”
“We work on everything in the gym, so whether I have to stand and trade or move and box it doesn’t matter to me. We’re prepared for anything and have been working with the best New York has to offer!”
Saturday is the first of two fights in quick succession for Murphy, who also has an Irish homecoming lined up for the Red Corner Promotions bill in Dublin on February 25th. The Irish-Boxing.com 2016 Prospect of the Year wouldn’t be human if the thought of finally fighting in front of his home fans wasn’t in the back of his mind, but Murphy stressed that once Saturday comes it will be all business
“February 25th definitely comes into my head,” he admitted. “I’m really excited for it, so it’s hard to shut it out at times, but I know on Saturday it will be the last thing on my mind and I’ll be one hundred percent focused on the task at hand.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show