Cavan's Andy Murray returns to action in County Mayo next month as he bids to return to winning ways following the first defeat of his 25 fight career last time out in a European Lightweight title challenge to Gavin Rees. Murray will look to rebound against Argentina's Sergio Priotti at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar on Friday, August 17th on the card headlined by Henry Coyle's defence of his WBF Light Middleweight title against Marcelo Rodriquez.
Castlebar has been a happy hunting ground for the 29-year-old in the past having beaten South American opposition there on his two previous bouts in the town and he's looking to make it a hat trick next month. "I've always had good support in Castlebar so I'm looking forward to fighting there again," said Murray. "I've watched Priotti in action and he comes to fight. He's been in there with some good lads and he has plenty of experience so it should be a good fight."
Murray admits that he will be looking forward to putting last years European title defeat behind him with a good performance in Castlebar. "I was very disappointed with my performance against Gavin Rees. I don't want to take anything away from Rees as he's a great champion but I started too slowly and I was always playing catch up after that. It was a great chance to win the European title but I threw it away so that hurt."
Murray lost out on points to Rees and the Welsh dynamo has since gone on to stop the highly regarded Anthony Mezaache and Derry Matthew inside the distance in European title defences. The former WBA Light Welterweight World Champion looks to be on the verge of sealing another World title fight in the Autumn giving him an opportunity to become a two weight World Champion but Murray says he's takes little comfort from pushing Rees close over the 12 rounds.
"There was never going to be too much in it at the finish but that wasn't really any consolation," revealed Murray. "I know myself that the fight was there for the taking on the night. Obviously he's a very good champion but I didn't perform to my best on the night so you have to try and learn from it and move on.
"I'm working hard in the gym and getting back in fighting shape so I'm enjoying it. I just want to get a good performance and a good win under my belt and then I'll take it from there and see what's next."
Murray who splits his training between Cavan Boxing Club and John Breen's pro gym in Belfast revealed that it will be a busy time for his old amateur club over the next few weeks. "The club's just moved premises and there is a team going out from Cavan to the Ringside World Championships in Kansas this week. Obviously you have John Joe Nevin boxing in the Olympics as well so there's a great buzz around the club at the minute."
The Irish – Argentina double header between Coyle - Rodriquez and Murray - Priotti is part of an action packed card at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar on August 17th. Cork based Cuban Alexei Collado will also be out to impress as he aims to take a step closer to a world title challenge with his impressive undefeated record currently standing at 15 wins and all but one of those wins coming via stoppage.
The undercard will have plenty to interest local fight fans as well with an intriguing all Connaught middleweight clash between Galway's Alan Donnellan and Roscommon's Darren Cruise. At the age of 39 Sligo's long time Irish amateur stalwart Stephen "Block" Reynolds is something of a late comer to the pro ranks but having enjoyed a debut win on Belfast at the weekend the heavy hitting cruiserweight is set for his second pro outing on the Castlebar card. Also in a local derby two Ballyhaunis boxers will punch for pay for the first time on the card - against each other welterweights Michael Waldron and Brandon Peake face each other on their professional debuts in an all Mayo affair.
Tickets for the August 17th event priced €40, €60 and €100 are available from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 300 000, Ticketmaster.ie / 0818 719300 and the boxers on the bill.