Lee Murtagh – Good Honest Boxing

Good Honest Boxing

I’ll start with my recent show towards the end of April at the Aria Suite which nearly saw a return to ‘Carry on Boxing’ with the ring and the ref with letting me down at short notice. I managed to salvage the situation with a few frantic phone calls and as well as a top class ring, I ended up with former Scottish featherweight and super featherweight champion James Ancliff as referee.

If I see a better fight this year than Bethlehem veteran Lee Williams against Maltese Joshua Muscot, then I will be a very lucky man. Lee proved there’s life in the old dog yet, winning the SPB International Challenge Championship (ICC) light welterweight title against a much younger opponent (we won’t say how old), despite hanging on for dear life at the end of the first round after taking a body shot which made him yell out loud in pain.

  Lee survived the last thirty seconds of the round by holding on to his opponent and when he came into the corner I told him more of the same; let his opponent feel his strength, get all over him and tie him up.  Yes, spoiling tactics but such as Floyd Mayweather have made a career out of nullifying an opponents game and Lee took it on board and then gradually found his range with simple left jabs and the right hand over the top, he took the second round to even things up and managed to maintain his momentum, winning on points.

Crossgates based Liam Hayes beat a very awkward opponent who almost did to Liam what Lee Williams did to his opponent. Liam got a few early punches in and his opponent could feel he was powerful so went into a defensive shell although he did manage to catch Liam with a couple of sucker punches which on another day could have seen Liam hit the canvas but really Liam did all the running and scored a deserved points win.

Sadly Stanks’ Danielle Naylor had to pull out of her fight due to illness. It was a bit touch and go as she was recovering as the day approached but I personally made the decision to pull her out as I couldn’t see the point of her taking an unnecessary risk.

We’ve had an influx of overseas boxers going Bethlehem recently. Bulgarian Ivelin Gicov made his Bethlehem debut after boxing in Bulgaria for a few years. I honestly think he let nerves get the better of him as he was stopped in the first round and it was a similar story for Latvian Kristaps Zulgis who was stopped in the second round. Tony Ely completed a trio of defeats when he lost on points in his Cruiserweight debut in a close fight but Garforth’s Joe Hardy bucked the trend with his first win at the fourth attempt, stopping his opponent in the fourth round.

All in all, a good afternoons boxing which the ref James Arnncliffe described as ‘Good honest boxing, every fight was a fight.’

Malta is on the horizon, we will be taking a team of six over there with Jody ‘One Man Riot’ taking on Billy Coritto in the rematch of his controversial win over there last year. And finally, Made in Leeds have finished filming the fourth series of Bethlehem Boxing which will be aired in the late summer.




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