New York based Cork welterweight, Noel Murphy, hopes to return to Ireland in the summer for an Irish title shot. He had his first professional win at home over the weekend.
Murphy had a dominant, eight-round points victory over Spaniard, Avelino Vazquez (4-3), at the National Stadium, on Saturday night.
That extended the 22-year-old’s undefeated record to 9-0 and it was his first paid fight in Ireland.
Claiming the BUI Celtic title, the Woodlawn-based southpaw hopes his New York promoter, Lou DiBella, will allow him to return home again for a summer shot at Irish welterweight champion, Peter McDonagh.
“I’m mandatory for the Irish title, now, so I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Murphy.
“Peter McDonagh might have to defend it soon, we’ll see.
“I’d like to fight him here… but we’ll go back to New York and see what my promoter has planned.
“If he allows that, then we’ll do it. It just depends on DiBella. He loves Ireland, so we’re lucky that way,” added Murphy, who attracted a large contingent of Cork support to Dublin.
The Macroom native was fighting at the National Stadium for the first time since a contentious amateur defeat in the 2014 National Elite Championships.
“It was brilliant, but I had to block out the atmosphere when I walked out, because I knew I could blow it, if I listened to the crowd and threw everything at him,” said Murphy of his vocal support.
“He was easy to hit, but I had to be careful, because he was durable, so that was the toughest part of it,” added the Marcoom man, following his 78-75 points win.
Headliner Luke Keeler took another step towards a European title shot with a competitive victory over former English middleweight champion, Lewis Taylor.
Dubliner Keeler improved his record to 12-2, by claiming all eight rounds on referee Emile Tiedt’s 80-72 scorecard, which was slightly harsh on the game Taylor, who put it up to the home fighter throughout.
“In fairness to Lewis, he’s come over here and he’s a nice guy and that scorecard doesn’t do him any justice or reflect the fight at all,” said a magnanimous Keeler afterwards. “It was a lot closer than that, in fairness to him”.
The Red Corner Promotions professional fight card was, for the most part, very well-matched and competitive, with Steve Collins Jr — son of the two-weight world champion — also claiming a BUI Celtic title (at light-heavyweight), with a disciplined, points, 79-73 victory in another eight-rounder.
Former European amateur medallist, Eric Donovan, also remains unbeaten, racking up his third win since turning pro, with a second-round stoppage of Romanian lightweight, Stefan Nicolae, who was a late replacement opponent for the Athy native.
Donovan hurt his opponent with a series of body shots to force referee, David Irving, to step in, as the five-time Irish elite amateur champion recorded victory without breaking a sweat.
Meanwhile, Eddie Bolger could be named Germany coach this week, after being head-hunted by the German Boxing Federation.
The Irish high-performance coach, who was also approached by Canada and Poland, confirmed that the Germans have offered him a two-year contract, with options for another two years.
“It looks like Germany. They’re breaking the bank to bring me over and I would be doing my family an injustice if I didn’t consider the offer,” said Bolger, who lives a stone’s throw away from Billy Walsh’s house in Co Wexford.
Walsh departed as Irish head coach to take the helm with USA Boxing, in acrimonious circumstances, two years ago.
Bolger, who said he was 90% sure that he would take the German deal, could make a final decision as early as today and ink a contract which also includes 10 flights home a year, amongst its perks.
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