ALL-ACTION Mancunian lightweight John Murray called time on his career earlier this month at the age of 29 after suffering from consistent problems in his right eye. The former British and European champion, whose final fight was a 10th-round stoppage defeat to former gym-mate Anthony Crolla in April, is admittedly sad that his time in the ring has come to an end, although he realises he has no choice but to hang up his gloves.
“I’ve had issues with my right eye for a while now,” Murray said. “I’ve had double vision for about three years, I’ve had a detached retina and cataracts. I’m nearly blind in the right eye – I can’t even read a text message on my phone if I close my left eye. I’d love to fight on but there’s no way I’d pass a medical now.
“Maybe it’s a good thing that the decision [to retire] has been taken out of my hands, because I’m one of those kids who’d have boxed on forever. I love to fight and I love a tear up. It’s over now, so I’ve got to look forward and not dwell on it too much.”
Murray enjoyed many memorable occasions during a professional career which spanned over 10-and-a-half years. Three events particularly stand out for the crowd-pleasing warrior.
“I had lots of great nights in the ring, such as boxing on the Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya undercard in Las Vegas [in May 2007], winning the British title against Lee Meager [in July 2008], and fighting for the WBA title against Brandon Rios in Madison Square Garden [in December 2011]. They were all unbelievable moments,” Murray recalled.
With his fighting days now finished, Murray has moved into the coaching side of the sport, based in his own gym in Manchester. He hopes to provide young local boxers with a platform to develop their skills and showcase their talents.
“I train my brother, [14-1 super-featherweight] Joe Murray, [3-0 lightweight] Chris Conwell and [2-0 welterweight] Andy Kremner,” informed Murray. “I’ve also got a couple of amateur fighters who are looking at turning over soon. I’m building a nice little stable and we’re all working hard. We’ve got a good team in the gym and I’m sure we’ll be successful. I’ve worked hard in my career and built up a lot of experience. I want to pass my knowledge on now. I want to bring kids through from grassroots, to professional, to winning titles.”