Paddy Murphy – “The time has come for me to step up and test myself”

PADDY Murphy moved to Brisbane from his hometown of Newry in Northern Ireland with boxing as nothing more than a distant memory.

However, this weekend, Murphy will mark a remarkable transformation when he steps through the ropes at the Sleeman Sports Complex to challenge Rivan Cesaire for his Australian welterweight title. The transition has been swift for the affable Irishman, who is looking to make his mark on a crowded welterweight division.

“I moved to Brisbane almost six years ago for a working holiday, but quickly settled and decided that I wanted to stay long term,” said Murphy in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “I wasn’t boxing at the time, but when my amateur coach in Ireland took sick, it gave me the motivation to get back in the gym.”

“A good mate of mine PJ Freehill introduced me to Gareth Williams at The Boxing Shop and the rest is history. I wouldn’t still be boxing if it wasn’t for Gareth, Shara and everyone at the club. It’s my home away from home.”

For Murphy, 27, the journey as a professional has been relatively smooth, having had thirteen fights in just over three years, without tasting defeat. Murphy (11-0-2, 5 KOs) is the first to admit that he is due for a step up in competition, which Rivan Cesaire (12-5-1, 3 KOs) will be more than happy to provide him with this weekend.

“Rivan is a very good boxer, he moves really well but also likes to mix it up at times,” Murphy explained. “He’s fought and beaten many top fighters so I know I’m in for a tough night. The time has come for me to step up and test myself and Rivan offers that challenge.”

Cesaire, 28, unlike Murphy has had a stop-start journey to the Australian title. Without the ability to shift tickets, the Cameroon-native who is now based in Melbourne has gone into most fights as the opponent, with his record sporting some blemishes that shouldn’t be there, most notably a hometown decision to Casey Hannan and questionable scoring last October against Lenny Zappavigna.

In spite of the aforementioned, Cesaire has scored credible wins over Todd Kidd, Tim Hunt and most recently Samuel Colomban, making him a firm favourite against Murphy.

What makes this fight interesting is Murphy’s attitude towards the step-up in opposition.

Murphy sees himself as a fighter that is better suited to title fights and when taken the distance, Murphy has shown a unique ability to shut fighters out. With the exception of his two draws – to Yang Xing Xin and Peter McDonagh in his fights abroad – Murphy has scored unanimous points wins every other time he has gone to scorecards.

Along with his desire to win and prove the doubters wrong, Murphy has shown confidence in his trainer Gareth Williams’ ability to set the right game-plan to dethrone Cesaire.

“I’d like to think that people see me as a down to earth, regular guy. I try to be as professional as possible about the gym and set a good example for the younger boxers,” Murphy continued. “I’ve always seen myself as a distance fighter boxing on the outside but we’re always working on new things in the gym so each fight represents a chance to try new things. Hopefully these will be on show on November 8th.”

Having celebrated his birthday while in training for Cesaire, Murphy is hoping to give himself a belated birthday present, in the shape of the Australian welterweight title.

“Winning the Australian title means a lot more to me than a birthday does. I’m delighted to have the opportunity – for which I thank Rivan for – but on November 8th I intend to have the title around my waist.”



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