TOP Cork boxing coach Tom Power reckons that Noel Murphy has the talent and the attitude to go all the way in the professional ranks.
Undefeated Murphy meets unbeaten Julio Cesar Sanchez in his 11th pro fight at the Barclays Centre in New York on the Adrien Broner versus Mikey Garcia undercard on Saturday night. Olympic champion Katie Taylor is also slated to fight in Brooklyn on her American pro debut.
Power, a major influence on Macroom southpaw Murphy and his fellow Macroom lefty Christina Desmond, flies out to New York on Wednesday to work Murphy’s corner along with Marcus Suarez. Murphy’s manager, Kevin Crowley, flew out to the Big Apple from Cork last Monday.
Power, chief seconds at the Fr Horgan’s BC, reckons that Sanchez, who remains unbeaten after 11 fights in his native Dominican Republic, is an unknown quantity.
“He could be very good or he could just be average. It’s hard to say really because there’s no footage of any of his fights so we won’t know what he’s like until Noel steps in the ring with him.
“It’s a massive fight for Noel and people say it is a step up, but that’s the way Noel wants it and that’s the way it should be. If you want to rise to the top in this game you have to test yourself against quality.
“It’s either that or spend the rest of your career fighting average opponents on undercards.Noel has been sparring and training with world class boxers in New York for quite a while now and he will be really up for this one. He knows how important it is.
New York-based Murphy has won nine of his ten bouts fighting out of the Bronx. In his only paid outing in Ireland he claimed the Boxing Union of Ireland Celtic title earlier this year at the National Stadium in Dublin.
The 23-year-old beat Avelino Vazquez at the home of Irish boxing. Hundreds of Cork boxing fans were at ringside to support their man.
“You could see how much Noel had improved at the Stadium that night. He was in top shape and he boxed very well, added Power who was in his corner with Suarez at the South Circular Road venue.
“I believe that he has the talent and the right attitude to rise to the top, definitely. He’s very dedicated. He loves boxing and he’s ambitious. This guy (Sanchez) is going to be tough on Saturday night.
“We don’t know a whole lot about him, but he’s never been beaten and he’s won eleven fights in a row and he’s knocked out six opponents. He has to be doing something right.”
Murphy and Sanchez clash over eight rounds.
“Somebody's zero has got to go, and it's not gonna be mine,” vowed Murphy ahead of the biggest fight of his career so far at a venue where he’s already won twice.
“Noel has been sparring with top sparring partners in the lead up to this fight and he’s in fantastic shape, added his manager Kevin Crowley.
“He already has a big following of Irish fight fans in New York and he’s planning to send them home happy on Saturday night. It’s unusual to see to unbeaten fighters on the undercard and that makes it all the more exciting. Noel is relishing this challenge.”