Midleton’s Damian Murphy is the new Munster Senior Boxing Champion after emerging victorious at the Munster Senior Boxing Championships from his match this past Sunday, 22 October.
It was Mr Murphy whose arm was raised aloft after three three-minute rounds at 91kg against his opponent, Dungarvan Boxing Club’s Alexander Novakovsky, at the Cork County Boxing Board Headquarters in Churchfield Industrial Estate this past weekend.
The win comes a year after the boxer was denied the chance to compete in the final of the same competition due to a broken thumb sustained in his semi-final success forced his withdrawal.
“Naturally the inclination is to wonder ‘what if?’,” said Mr Murphy, who is attached to Midleton Boxing Club and Midleton Muay Thai. “Getting an opportunity to compete in the final this year was my chance to answer that question.”
Having only fought once since his injury last year – which was at a charity match for the Irish Heart Foundation – and with all but one of his previous fights set at three two-minute rounds, Mr Murphy and his coaches had to strategize prior to the more gruelling final match-up.
“Energy conservation and pace setting was a must,” said Mr Murphy. “Fighting is equal parts mental as it is physical and in the lead up to this fight I spent more time preparing mentally for it. I felt calm and relaxed heading into the bout, looking forward to competing and testing myself against an opponent with similar experience. If I lost, then I lost and it's all experience and ring minutes under my belt and nothing to be upset about. There will always be nerves, but they disappear almost as soon as the bell rings. Accepting the fact that I'm going to get hit definitely helps a lot too. I was very pleased with my performance.”
Mr Murphy effused thanks and praise for all those who positively impacted his boxing career within the East Cork community.
“Boxing is a team sport,” said Mr Murphy. “Without my coaches Billy O’Sullivan, Colm O’Riordan and Steve Desmond this wouldn't have been possible. Their encouragement, tips and feedback on adjusting my style and technique is invaluable and I was thrilled to have them share the victory. Neither would it have been possible without my teammates in the boxing club. Being a member of Midleton Muay Thai I would also say a huge thank you to Coach Tommy Collins and all the gang training there, to the trainers and Dez who owns The Train Station Gym. And last but not least, thank you to all those who support me with encouragement and interest. It makes a world of difference.”