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ROSS’S ROCKY STORY: MURRAY WINS WBC STRAP

‘The cream of Castlemilk’ is the name I’m putting forward for Ross Murray, of Castlemilk, Glasgow. He claimed the WBC International Silver Light Flyweight Title on Friday night and his team couldn’t be any prouder.

Having turned professional late, at 34, there was never a massive weight of expectation on Murray. Now, at 37, he’s exceeded what expectation there was and claimed his first title.

“Hard work really does pay off” tweeted promoter, Sam Kynoch- giving credit to his man. Murray took a unanimous decision against 20-year-old Tanzanian, John Chuwa, whose record previously stood at 17-2, with nine stoppage wins.

We haven’t got too many points of comparison to gauge Chuwa’s quality but he has been Tanzania’s minimumweight champion and stopped four of his last eight opponents. However, he also lost a unanimous decision to the unbeaten, opinion dividing ‘Prince Patel’ in Budapest last year.

This was Murray’s third title tilt. Previously he lost to Sunny Edwards in 2017 while contesting the WBO European Super Flyweight Title, and to Jay Harris in 2018, while contesting the Commonwealth Flyweight Title. There’s no shame in either of those losses. Edwards seems destined for world level bouts and Harris is about to contest a European belt.

In claiming his green belt Murray will have dispelled any doubts he, or his team, may have had over turning to professional boxing so late. 34-year-old boxers traditionally think about hanging up the gloves, not lacing them up for the first time.

Some fans will say the title is an insignificant one, but those fans ought to try win one.

Whatever Murray’s future plans in the sport he will act as an inspiration in a sport that increasingly attracts late starters from a wide variety of backgrounds. There’s no route into professional football, rugby or tennis at 34. Boxing is different though, and that’s a big part of what makes it special. The cliched “Rocky story” comes in many forms, at many levels, and delivers captivating narratives at all levels within the sport. Ross Murray’s is the latest and we at Southpaw Jab want to congratulate Ross and wish him the best of luck in the future.

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