Andrew Murray continues his remarkable march through the boxing ranks when he fights Belfast’s James Gorman at the National Stadium on 22 March.
The Cavan man is the current Irish light welterweight champion and one of the country’s hottest boxing prospects but there were few signs in Murray’s childhood that a career between the ropes lay in store.
His early years were blighted by Perthes disease, a degenerative hip condition that left him wheelchair bound for extended periods.
But Murray was both transfixed and inspired by the epic battles between the likes of Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn in the 1990s.
The determined 25-year-old is now unbeaten in nine professional bouts.
His title defence is the chief supporting fight on the Ladbrokes.com Fight Night which features Irish middleweight champion Matthew Macklin’s clash with former world champion Yori Boy Campas.
Murray though will be determined to steal the spotlight in his Irish title rematch with Gorman.
The two men meet for the first time last December at the Kings Hall.
Murray emerged victorious but he wasn’t particularly satisfied at the outcome given the circumstances of the win.
A clash of heads left Murray with a nasty gash over his right eye and unable to continue in the fourth round. Under Boxing Union of Ireland rules the decision went to the referee’s scorecard and Murray was awarded the win but he admits it was something of a hollow victory.
‘When you win you want to win in style so to win the way I did took a bit of the shine off it,’ said Murray. ‘You never want to win a fight on cuts so I still don’t class myself as the champion yet. Hopefully I can beat Gorman in Dublin and leave no doubts this time around.’
Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez and the pro debut of Irish amateur heavyweight champion Ian Tims are other interesting names on an entertaining card.