Recent Noely Murphy foe secures World Title fight

Less than a year ago Noely Murphy [12(2)-1(0)-1] was beaten for the first time in his professional career.

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.

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


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: