Murphy's Law to rule
Noel's run of bad luck set to end against 'Bad Boy' Mate
If you were superstitious you might think Noel Murphy has been going through a run of bad luck.
The Cork welterweight, who is based in the States, was set to fight for the Irish title tonight in Cork. But his opponent Jay Byrne, the BBBofC Celtic super welterweight champion and owner of Supreme Altitude in Bray, where my colleague Ian Gaughran reduced his body fat by 18pc, was forced to pull out of the fight.
Next, Byrne's replacement, Jake Hanney, who insisted he'd win the title, was forced to cancel citing a knee injury.
"It was a mad few weeks for Noel," says manager Kevin Crowley. "And don't forget, Keane McMahon also called him out. But then he wouldn't fight either."
Although there's no Irish belt on the line, Murphy (13-1-1, 2 KOs) won't have it easy at the Neptune Sports Arena tonight as he headlines a whopping 12-fight card.
Staring him down will be the hard-hitting Hungarian, Adam 'Bad Boy' Mate (28-14, 21 KOs), who once lost a WBO European title fight to Irish champion Stephen Ormond.
"This won't be an easy fight," says Kevin. "But, given Noel's experience, we're hoping he's the more astute boxer."
"There was no training done for this fella," says Kevin. "Training was nearly over when we got him. We were just winding down to get ready for the weigh-in. It was hard for me going back to Noel to tell him the fight was off. But the fans probably don't care who he's fighting. They're behind him all the way. "
"Noel wanted the Irish title because he might have stayed over this side of the Atlantic and defended it," says Kevin. "It would have ranked him in Europe which could have presented some exciting opportunities."
Adding to Murphy's recent woes, was his only loss in 15 fights, which came when a point deducted for an innocuous low blow against Mikkel 'Slikk Mikk' LesPierre in New York in February, swung the fight for the southpaw .
"It was bad luck and a great pity," says Kevin. "Because Mikkel went on to fight for a WBO world title."
"Noel's decided he wants a hard, hard fight after this," reveals Kevin. "He wants to be the underdog. He performs better when he's the underdog. We'll see after this fight what's the best path to take. But Noel is definitely looking forward to a bright future."