NOEL MURPHY’s team have vowed to bounce back after the Macroom southpaw lost his unbeaten run and bid for the vacant WBC USNBC super-lightweight title to Mikkel LesPierre in New York last night.
The scorecards read 97-92, 95-94, 95-94 to the Brooklyn native, with Murphy, who was aiming for his 13th victory, docked a point for an illegal blow by the referee in the ninth round of a see-saw battle in the main event on a Broadway Boxing show at the BB King Blues Club.
The ref’s intervention proved crucial as the bout would have been scored a majority stalemate if the point hadn’t been deducted, explained Murphy’s manager Kevin Crowley.
“We’re disgusted with it. He (ref) didn’t warn him about any rabbit punching. If he didn’t take the point it would have been a draw,” said the Cork native.
Murphy, who boxes out of the Bronx, pounded LesPierre with body shots to take the first two rounds, but the Trinidad and Tobago man, began establishing distance and his slick punching impressed the judges from round three up to frame six, with rounds six to eight very close.
Despite being done a point, Murphy continued pouring forward in the ninth and fought like a man possessed in the 10th to win the final frame against an opponent who improves to 19 wins and a draw from 20 outings after last night’s verdict.
“He went for it in the tenth, he came on strong in the end. He’s disappointed, but this is going to make him stronger. It’s not the end of the road or anything like that. He’s only 23 and he’ll come back way stronger,” added Crowley.
New York’s Marcus Suarez and Cork’s Tom Power, coach at the Fr Horgan’s BC, worked Murphy’s corner last evening.