Boxing’s Hall of Fame

first_imgThe late Andrew Alphonso Murray Jnr., lived for boxing. Boxing wasn’t just a sport, it was a passion, an addiction almost, that Murray Jnr., just could not get enough of.He ate, slept and dreamt boxing until finally boxing consumed him, caused his death actually.At a time when he was just about to embark on his second career after retiring as a prize fighter, Murray Jnr., died tragically in a car accident on January 26, 2002 whilst he was making plans to promote a boxing card in Linden. Reports are that he was returning from Linden alone when his car skidded off the Linden Highway and went over a bridge. He was eventually rescued and taken to the hospital but later died.Born July 1, 1971, Murray Jnr., was just 11 years-old when he participated in a boxing tournament at the Save the Children Gym against much bigger, stronger and older boys since he competed in the U16 division.In his early years he was trained by Ralph Parris, father of Michael Parris, Guyana’s Olympic bronze medallist and later by George `Canchie’ Oprechect. An early start in sports is one of the prerequisites for success and Andrew enjoyed that success when he won three junior CARIFTA Games medals in three years.He won a silver medal in 1987 in Barbados, a gold the following year in Jamaica and a bronze again in Barbados in 1989.After adding the national lightweight title to his list of amateur accomplishments Andrew turned `pro’ making his professional debut against Alonzo Clarke of Barbados and winning by a TKO in round four of their welterweight bout in St Michael, Barbados on February 9, 1990. A TKO win in his second fight against Conrad Hunte at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall by a TKO seemed to indicate that greatness was just a stone throw’s away.But every Superman has his Kryptonite and early on in his professional career, his Kryptonite was a boxer by the name of Pascal David.The two fought twice and on both occasions Murray Jr., lost. The first fight took place on September 23, 1990 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and David won the eight rounder by a split decision.The return bout took place a few months later on November 25 and this time David won by a TKO in the first round. But while David’s career failed to take off afterwards, Murray Jnr., had no such problems. Under the management of the shrewd Odinga Lumumba and coached by the wily Lennox `Cappell’ Daniels (he was later to be trained by the late great Emmanuel; Steward), Murray Jnr., was to rack up a 16-fight win streak on his way to being the number-one ranked WBA welterweight contender.His win streak was halted when he fought Ghana’s Ike `Bazooka’ Quartey for the WBA welterweight title in France on August 23, 1995. He lost the 12 round contest by a TKO in round four after suffering a cut over his eye.Nearing the twilight of his career, he was also to unsuccessfully challenge for World Boxing Union (WBU) welterweight title against Michele Piccirillo losing by TKO in round three of the 12 round contest. He also lost to Fathi Missaoui for the WBO NABO super welterweight title and to Richard Williams for the Commonwealth super welterweight title.The string of defeats was probably what led to him calling it a day.Prior to those three defeats, his career was quite outstanding. Murray reigned undefeated as Commonwealth champion from 1993-1997 twice defending the title.He was the first Guyanese boxer to win what was formerly the British Empire title in 50 years following Kid Tanner in 1947, Cliff Anderson in 1952 and Lennox Beckles in 1967.Winner of the Sportsman-of-the-Year award  in 1993 and 1994, Murray Jnr., knocked out Alain Boismenu in four rounds on February 26, 1995 at the Pegasus Hotel  and then defeated Michael Smyth over 12 rounds  on October 2, 1996 in Wales. A knock out of Michael Covington in three rounds was ranked among the best knockouts in the fight game at the timeHis first title, however, was the WBC FECARBOX welterweight title which he wrested via a unanimous decision from Jose Antonio Martinez on February 29, 1993.The next stop was London, England on October 5, 1993 in Mayfair when Murray Jnr., defeated Tony Swift in a bloody bout winning by a TKO in round six to capture  the vacant Commonwealth  welterweight title. Murray Jnr., who was awarded the Medal of Service on May 26, 1994, retired in 2002 with a record of 35 fights, 27 wins, seven losses and one draw. He had 18 knockouts.He served as vice president of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) before trying his hand as a boxing promoter.last_img

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