Joe Murray, the Manchester born boxer is a perfect example of a boxer having two sides to their career.
The first part of Joe’s career as I see it was his amateur days when he won bronze at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago. Then when he went on to fight at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Later turning professional in 2009 facing Sid Razak in a six round contest Murray won on points.
Joe racked up a impressive 14-0 record, capturing the IBF youth featherweight title on the way. In 2013 his first defeat came at the hands of Liam Walsh by majority decision.
Joe was inactive for over a year after that fight – returning with a TKO win over the then undefeated Gyula Tallosi.
In February 2015 Joe faced off again against Liam Walsh for the British and Commonwealth titles, losing by TKO and again was inactive for over a year.
The changing point was in 2016 when Joe Murray laced up the gloves again and returned to the ring, but a new and improved version of Joe had emerged in and out of the ring now.
Murray moved up to the lightweight division and has been more active than ever. His return there was a TKO win over Abdon Cesar.
Then in July of 2016 he faced Ibrar Riyaz, winning on points in front of a packed house in Manchester.
Next up was Danny Little. Again Joe pulled of an impressive points win. Only 14 days after the fight with Little Joe Murray travelled over to Denmark with short notice to square of against unbeaten prospect Rashid Kaseem.
This was undoubtedly the best performance of Joe’s career to date. Murray was rocked early on in the fight but showed real grit and determination and came back to drop Rashid twice in a lively opener.
Murray went on to dominate and finish Kaseem in the 6th round with the KO of the night and his career. The KO got Joe the Knockout of the month award on BoxNation TV and rightly so.
This emphatic win for Joe Murray firmly got the notice of everyone in the lightweight division to stand up, and to take note that he was clearly back in the championship scene.
Outside of the ring Murray has clearly changed his demeanor too, being more outspoken in the media. He has stated himself that he will fight anyone in the lightweight division with as little as two weeks notice:
“I’ve been chasing down titles for a long time but I think a lot of British fighters avoid me.”
Joe clearly has his sights set on titles in the near future and has called out the current British lightweight champion Scott Cardle many times in the press and on social media. Joe publicly said:
“You give me a date for a fight with Scott Cardle and I’ll be there and I’ll take the title off him. Time will tell if Scott Cardle can find his balls and comes and fights. You can’t make somebody fight if they don’t want to fight but I’m next in line. Come and fight me”.
Another fight Murray would get a lot of attention for in the press would be facing any of former trainer Joe Gallagher’s fighters.
Murray and Gallagher don’t see eye to eye anymore, which is a story line in itself.
Murray has been trained by his brother John Murray for a while now. There has been lots of heated words on social media with Gallagher most recently when Natasha Jonas turned professional:
“Wrong move for me but best of luck Natasha, @JoeG will look out for his need more than yours be careful, don’t make same mistake as me.”
I see this as a great move by promoters if they can match up Joe Murray against any of Joe Gallagher’s lightweights.
There will be heated press conferences and points to prove in the ring for Murray as a fighter and Gallagher as a trainer.
In my opinion Murray has always been capable of achieving great things in boxing and he has achieved some success as a amateur and a professional.
But since the start of 2016 this more outspoken, confident and what I can see improved fighter in the ring will fulfil his dreams of becoming a British champion and more titles will surly come in the future.