Lee Murtagh’s Boxing Diary – Ten Year Show and the Boxing Rapper

I can’t emphasise enough how much I was looking forward to my last show, ten years as a promoter and all that. However, in the week leading up to it, I started to feel unwell and it turned out I’d managed to pick up some virus up from somewhere.  

In hindsight, it was a relief I’d already done most of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff the previous week as I struggled with training the boxers, a lot of that week was training, sleeping, training, sleeping. On the night of the fight I had the worst headache I’ve experienced in my whole life and as always there was loads to do and loads of stress, which is pretty normal for a show but I was struggling and it was a relief when the opening bell sounded and I could at least just concentrate on being the corner man, even then fourteen fights back to back seemed like a mountain to climb.

Remarkably the show went okay. We had one boxer fail to show but that was the sum of what went wrong and it was good to see the return of Women’s boxing on my show as Sophie Gelder made a great debut in Bethlehem’s colours with a third round stoppage of Sheffields Nichola Walker in a Yorkshire Area Bantamweight fight. This set her up nicely for her European debut in Malta and she went over there full of confidence, (maybe over confidence) and Sophie came back down to earth with a bump, this time finding herself on the receiving end of a third round stoppage.

Crossgates’ Liam Hayes defended his Northern Area Super Middleweight title against an experienced opponent from Manchester. Opinion was divided on this one, a few thought it could have gone either way although from my vantage point, I thought Liam was a convincing winner.

Garforth’s Joe Hardy is learning fast as he put in another sterling performance, he’s now won his last three bouts and he was joined in the ring by three other lads from Garforth who were all making their debuts for Bethlehem as light welterweights.

Oliver Blackwell performed well and although he lost on points, he can take a lot from the fight. James Walker boxed like a veteran winning his fight on points but possibly the most intriguing of the three was Shaun ‘The Boxing Rapper’ Cale who mastered the basics quickly, stuck to the game plan and knocked his opponent out in the first round.

Shaun Cale aka Hessy

Shaun is a budding rapper and performs under the name of ‘Hessy,’ you can find his latest here.

East End Parks Marcus Howett showed glimpses of real talent, snatching a draw against a very wily opponent who showed his experience and tied Marcus up for a while, all credit to Marcus for boxing his way out of a few tight situations, a year ago he would have lost that fight. Oakwoods Hamas Ali made a winning return after injury, stopping his opponent in the second round and all credit to another Bethlehem debutant Macca Riley who scored a points win. We also had a cameo appearance from former  Scottish Featherweight Champion James Ancliff who now lives in Leeds. His family travelled down from Aberdeen to watch him as he stopped his opponent in the third round.

In the future I’ll devote a full column to the diversity of Bethlehem, we really do have people coming from all corners of the planet but as I’m running out of space a special mention for our two Latvians Tom Berzins and Darius Ave, both have been with us for a while now and scored good wins.

So after a hectic night at the Aria, I was glad to get home and put my feet up with a hot cup of tea, you can see some of the above mentioned fights on Made in Leeds as the new series of Bethlehem Boxing begins on 7th October at 11a.m.

Lee Murtagh 07793 240535

Professional Boxer / Trainer


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