MIKKEL Lespierre landing a WBO world title shot this weekend is a motivating factor for Macroom welter Noel Murphy, according to his manager Kevin Crowley.
Murphy meets Dubliner John Joyce in his next fight at the House of Blues on Saturday week.
Gary 'Spike' O’Sullivan headlines the St Patrick’s eve card against Khairy Gray on a massive night for Cork pro boxing.
O’Sullivan, who will edge closer to a world title tilt at light middle if he beats Gray in Boston, nailed his colours to the mast.
“I’m predicting a Cork double for myself and Noel on the night,” he said.
New York-based Murphy, who fights out of the Bronx, dropped a unanimous decision: 97-92, 95-94, 95-94 — to Brooklyn native LesPierre in a cross-town Big Apple derby at the BB King Blues club in February 2018.
However, if Murphy hadn’t been docked a point for a harsh public warning on the night the 10-rounder would have ended in a majority draw.
The reversal to the Trinidad and Tobago-born puncher was the first loss of Murphy’s career.
The 24-year-old Leeside southpaw has won 12 (12-1-1) of his 14 fights so far.
Unbeaten LesPierre (21-0-1) added another two wins to his CV since his decision over the Corkman and meets defending champion Maurice Hooker in a WBO World title dust-up this Saturday night New York.
”I think LesPierre getting a shot at the title is motivation for Noel because he knows now how close he could be,” said Cork native Crowley.
“It was such a close decision and to see the other guy fight for a world title....it makes you push on harder.”
“If he had beaten him that night and won one or two more fights he might have got the shot.
“He’s aware of it, but all his focus is now on John Joyce.”
Cork’s Tom Power will be working Murphy’s corner in Boston with Marcus Suarez of the Bronx.