John Murray looking forward to York Hall debut

07.07.06 - Standout Manchester super featherweight John Murray is looking forward to shaking off the ring-rust when he makes his debut at the home of British Boxing next Wednesday, (12th July). The 21-year-old appears on the Hennessy Sports ‘Fifty-Fifty’ event at the York Hall in Bethnal Green in a six-rounder. It will be his first contest since he made history by becoming the first ever English fighter to win the WBC World Youth Title last December by defeating teak tough Colombian Nacho Mendoza..

"I can’t wait to get things moving again," said Murray, who has recently committed his future to Hennessy Sports. "I had to take some time off because of the bruising I suffered to my forehead against Mendoza and to resolve my contract situation, but that is all behind me now.

"I want to get the show back on the road. I need this one fight to get sharp, to shake off the cobwebs and ease myself back in, but then I feel I will be back to where I was. I will be able to pick up where I left off. I was on a bit of a roll at the end of last year. I had won in America and Canada and then I beat Mendoza, who was an outstanding fighter. I want to get the ball rolling again."

What better place to do that than at the home of British Boxing.

"My trainer Joe Gallagher calls the York Hall the Mecca of boxing," Murray continued. "I have to make him right, so its about time I fought there after 16 fights. I have never even fought in Central London before, so I’m looking forward to kick-starting my career by putting on a show there. It might be my first fight in a while, but I’m still intending to look the business.

"There is a lot of fuss about Kevin Mitchell down there and he has boxed at the York Hall a few times, so it will be good to show the Capital and all the journalists down there what I can do.

"I know my promoter Mick Hennessy has big events planned for Manchester featuring me and Lee Meager, (British lightweight champion). You couldn’t get two more exciting fighters on a bill. But there is no reason that I shouldn’t be able to return to London now and then. I am Manchester through and through, but it would be nice to have a title fight in London from time to time."

The paths of Murray and Mitchell nearly crossed earlier this year when they were nominated to contest an eliminator for the British Super Featherweight Title. By withdrawing, Gallagher believes that Mitchell gave up his best chance ever of beating his charge. Even then, that chance would have been very slim.

"On the best of days Mitchell would only have a 1% chance of beating John. John is way above him," said Gallagher. "But if he had gone through with the eliminator he would have had a 5% chance.

"I say that because John would have been coming off the back of a layoff after the Mendoza fight; he wouldn’t have been his usual sharp self. We would still have been very confident though and would have taken the fight to get Mitchell in the ring. That fight looks a long-way off now, but that could be all for the better. It could be a big fight down the line for both boys in terms of the money and that the that could be on the line."

Gallagher recently accompanied Murray on a trip to the main Hennessy Sports training facility in London. Reports from the gym suggest that some of the sparring sessions would have been worth paying to see.

"It was a great trip," said Murray. "I got in some quality sparring against fighters like Lee Meager, John O’Donnell and Billy Corcoran, (who tops the bill next Wednesday when he meets Carl Johanneson for the British super featherweight title).

"I’m now as sharp as I am going to be after such a long layoff, although there is no substitute for real fights. That’s what I really need now. I can’t wait to get the head-guard off, put those tiny gloves on and climb back through the ropes again. I want to feel that adrenaline pumping through me. "

Next week also promises to be big for another Murray – John’s younger brother Joe. The 19-year-old flies out with the England team on Thursday to the European Championships in Bulgaria, where he will compete at Bantamweight.

"He’s the youngest in the team," explained John. "He’s also the first fighter from Manchester to represent England in the European Championships since 1991. He’s down at Crystal Palace next week in preparation, but the coaches are letting him have Wednesday night off to come and watch me. I hope to return the favour by flying out to Bulgaria for next weekend."

‘Fifty-Fifty’ takes place at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Wednesday 12th July. The headline fight sees Billy Corcoran meet Carl Johanneson for the vacant British Super Featherweight Title. The undercard features Junior Olympic Gold Medallist John O’Donnell, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Darren Barker and WBC World Youth Champion John Murray. For the latest bill please visit For tickets please phone 0870 060 1795.

Article posted on 07.07.2006

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