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 Irish-Boxing.com.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie