Lee murtagh’s Boxing Diary – Three Little Birds


So much to talk about, so little space! So I’ll start with Liam Hayes, a boxer whose been with me the best part of eight years and he’s still only 21. When Liam first came and trained with me, it was obvious he had natural talent, I actually thought, he’s my Sugar Ray. Liam would probably be the first to admit he’s not kicked on from his early promise.

Until now that is, somehow, Liam has found the key to unlocking his potential and no more was this emphasised than last fight in which he headline the Aria show against Geordie Jack Scott, a veteran of 300 fights or so for the Semi-Pro boxing Northern Area title. I thought it would be tough for Liam but he made remarkably short work of Jack, knocking him out in the first round with a combination of a straight right we’d been working on and a ‘Czech hook’ which is not a punch normally associated with power, it’s more of a point scoring punch, like a hook from the back foot. We’d actually worked on this when Liam was 15 and kind of forgot about it and I was amazed when Liam pulled it out of his toolbox to finish an experienced opponent.

lee-tasif1It was a great show with some fantastic fights. Liam Mac.Elduff was up first and he took his fledgeling record to three wins no defeats. It was great to see so many of Liam’s family there and like me they probably left wondering just how good he could become bearing in mind he’s still only sixteen and he’s fighting older, more experienced boxers. Another fledgling is Stanks based Daniella Naylor who like the two Liams has natural talent in abundance. She first appeared at Bethlehem through the pink collar set up and after coming and going for a while has settled down and is proving to be a quick learner with quick feet, good technique and good family support. Her first round stoppage took her record to 4-0 and she’s also bagged herself a sponsorship deal with Crossgates Beauty Salon Lam Boutique.

Mark ‘Mr.Perseverance’ Black continued his winning run, making it three on the bounce, once again giving away height and weight and Marcus Hewitt gave his best performance to date working behind his jab beautifully to achieve a points win. Shock of the night was possibly Wayne Garwood. Wayne is a 40 year old former body building champion who came into boxing late. He was taking on undefeated Danny Whitiker for the Heavyweight Yorkshire Challenge Belt. Wayne’s a big lad but I was a bit sceptical about his plan to ‘walk him down’ meaning to just bludgeon his way through him, that’s how he wanted to fight and his game plan worked a dream, finishing the fight with a right hook in the first round. Johnny Guest rounded the night off by winning by stoppage.

I haven’t got room to mention the York show as I was also in Tasif Khan’s corner in Bradford as he won the World Boxing Confederation Bantam weight belt making him a two weight world champion. His opponent was Michael Barnor a gangly Southpaw from Ghana which for me with my cornerman hat on was great. Tasif was very convincing winner with a third round stoppage and now has eyes on boxing in the USA next year.

And that’s it for this year, Merry Xmas and Happy New year to all the readers and followers of Bethlehem and thank you for your support over the last year.

Lee Murtagh 07793 240535


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