Lee Murtagh – Bramley Leeds and Boston Massachusetts


Traditionally boxing gets off to a slow start in the New Year but for me this time it’s a little different.

I had to cancel all fights towards the end of last year due to personal reasons but I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible. I’m happy to continue my American odyssey and I’ve signed a contract to fight on 15th March- on St.Patricks Day weekend- against Michael Mc.Loughlan at the 4000 capacity Royale Nightclub, Boston, Massachusetts.

Michael is trained by Sean Mannion who I’ve mentioned before in this column. I have a long standing friendship with him and he’s also worked my corner a few times in Ireland.  Sean fought for world titles, so is a good man to have in your corner, however, I’ve got Paul ‘Silky’ Jones in my corner, a boxer who has won a world title, so I’m in safe hands.

‘Silky’ will be training me for this, as he did for my first defence, this will be my second defence of the belt and also the second Irish title fight to take place in America in history. The first was between Steve Collins and Sam Storey and that was also in Boston. That’s not bad company to be in, I’ll happily play second fiddle to the legend that is Steve Collins! .I’m also in the frame for a six or  eight man tournament spread over one year which will take place in Philadelphia and be televised on US TV.  Also a two fight deal has been offered by J.Newmans Fighting Events, which will be a warm up fight, again in Philadelphia and hopefully will end up with a WBU world title fight against Harry Joe Yorgey, in his hometown of Bridgeport. Since this fight was first talked about last year, the promoter has told me it’s the fight everyone there wants to see and I’m happy to oblige although as I’ve said before, I’m a man in a hurry!


I’ve also organised an EBF show for 7th  February at Bramley Villagers Club, so those taking part in that are keen to get any winter excess out of their system.

We are getting more and more people coming in to Bethlehem simply for the training and keep fit aspect. At the time of writing, I’m considering putting an extra class on through the day such is the interest. Generally, the consensus of opinion seems to be that boxing training is more interesting than attending the gym although I do hasten to add we have cardio machines, weight circuits plus I’ve always got a few tricks up my sleeve to keep things interesting. So if you’re not interested in boxing but want to get yourself  into shape please feel free to come down.

Just before Christmas we had the Bethlehem Boxing Club Christmas night out where we went to the new arena in Leeds to see the first boxing bout to take place there and the first World title fight to take place in Leeds since the days of Tom Collins. All credit to Stuart Hall who beat Vusi Malinga for the IBF world bantamweight title but I’d personally gone to see my old sparring partner Paul McClosky. Like me he’s a southpaw and we sparred together in preparation for my fight against Camacho.

Paul fights at light welter weight and has some pedigree, he’s  been in the ring with Amir Khan for the WBA world title and was unlucky to lose on a 6th round technical  decision, he’s also beaten Breidis Prescott who was the man who ended  Khans unbeaten record.. Anyway, this fight went the distance and as far as I’m concerned Paul did enough to win, especially after he floored his opponent in the fourth but the decision went against him and although I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Paul, he suffered a travesty of justice on this occasion.












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