Joe Murray quits amateur ranks after controversial defeat

By Mark Pickering: Manchester amateur Joe Murray has announced his intentions to move to the paid ranks in light of his one-sided defeat to Ireland’s David Oliver Joyce on Sunday at the European Amateur Championships in Liverpool. The 21-year-old world bronze medallist was furious with the 16-3 score and said the judging was worse than in this summer’s Olympic games where he went out in the first round after defeat to China's Gu Yu..

"They said the scoring was bad in China but when you come back to your home country it's even worse,” Murray blasted.

“What's the point putting in all the hard graft when you don't get a fair fight?

"I want to stay amateur but I've been driven away. If I don't go professional now I'm going to have to quit. All I ask is to get in the ring and get a fair decision but it seems too much."

Joyce went down in the first round from a body shot, but the referee ruled it as a slip and Murray did not score a point until the final round.

Two of his three points came after the Irishman was penalised for a low blow.

Murray rued the outcome of the fight, which denied him the chance to face Olympic champion Vasyl Lomachencko in the next round.

"If I don't go professional now I'm going to have to quit. All I ask is to get in the ring and get a fair decision but it seems too much,” Murray continued.

"The kid looks worse than me. He got a cut on his nose and took so many body shots. But if the judges don't like you, they don't like you.

"It was my dream to go to the Olympics then to come back and fight in my home country and move up a weight to prove I had what it takes. If I'd won today I'd have fought the Olympic champion next and that's what I wanted.

"But it was as if there was a different scoring system for him. He started banging to the body and was scoring points straight away. I really didn't expect this in my home country but it's just what amateur boxing is."

Joe Gallagher, Murray's club trainer at Moss Side ABC added: "It's the first time Joe has boxed in England for a while and his whole family were there to watch, he boxed really well.

"He feels after his poor performance in the Olympics he can now walk away with his head held high as he put in a good performance.

”The scoring was an embarrassment. You're not going to see Joe wearing an amateur vest again."

Joe will be hoping to emulate fast-rising brother John, 23, whose the reigning British lightweight champion and has cultivated a perfect 25-0 (13 KOs) record.

Article posted on 09.11.2008

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