Lee Murtagh – Celtic Park and Life Begins at 40!

Lee on the big screen at Celtic Park

Lee on the big screen at Celtic Park

I’m starting this one off with a different sport – football. I finally got to go up to Celtic Park and was on the pitch beforehand where I got a fantastic reception from the Parkhead faithful. I must admit I’m not a football fan but I guess as I come from Irish Catholic stock, the club are hardwired in my DNA! It was incredible to be on the pitch with 45,000 people in the stands and it wasn’t even full. I took my Dad with me and I think it meant more to him than me as he’s been a lifelong supporter and I think he was a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience. Many thanks to Seamus Cummings for his work in making this possible.

They say life begins at 40, opportunity knocks and all those other cliches but in my case it’s turning out to be true. After giving a good account of myself in the Hector Camacho fight, both in and out of the ring, the offers for fights in the USA have come flooding in. I was hoping to defend the Irish title out there, Boston Celtic’s TD Garden Arena had been mentioned but the promoters wiped their feet and someone else stepped in. If I’m honest, I haven’t got time for protracted negotiations and Kings Promotions (thankfully nothing to do with Don King) offered me a  WBU title over 10 rounds against Harry Yorgey. I’m stepping up a weight to middleweight for this fight and it’s at the Sovereign Center, Reading, Pennsylvania on 30th November My opponent has a good record (27 wins, 2 defeats) and as he’s a Pennsylvanian native, I’m going into his backLEEUSAphoto yard for this one. That’s never bothered me before, in fact I prefer to be the away fighter and I always feel I’ll have support over there from the Irish diaspora.  If you are a bit bemused as to how I qualify for a crack at a North American title, it’s all down to my debut fight out there.  When I fought Camacho,  I had to take out a New York State license, which now has opened a host of opportunities. Like I said I’ve been offered various fights by various bodies. I wanted to fight over there again before Christmas, which is why I wanted to get something sorted quickly and hopefully it will set me up nicely to go back to New York for an Irish title defence on St.Patricks day. Well that’s the plan anyway.

 

Lastly Ronald J Wright has completed his filming and also received the footage he commissioned from when I was in America. He’s at the editing stage now and hopes to have a completed 70 minute documentary to take round the film festivals next year. He’s calling it ‘Fighting Down in Bethlehem’ but everyone I know seems to have taken to calling it ‘Lee the Movie!’ His idea is to show the completed film as a special one off premier at Cottage Road cinema, so I can watch it with my nearest and dearest. I can’t wait to watch it, especially with my Mum and Dad who couldn’t make it to New York. Never in a million years (well forty) did I ever imaging someone would make a film about me, maybe it’s true ‘Life really does begin at 40!’

Outside Celtic Park

Outside Celtic Park

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