There must be something in the water around Brisbane and Gold Coast that contributes to the crop of boxers that seem to be taking the world stage of late.
First, Jeff Horn shocked the world when he beat Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium to claim a WBO welterweight championship belt.
Now on the radar is Nerang’s Rohan Murdock, who will be on the undercard of Horn’s title defense in December, where he will go against Apti “The Tiger” Ustarkhanov. A win in that fight would earn him an opportunity to challenge world champ Gilberto Ramirez of Mexico for a title in the super-middleweight division.
Promoter extraordinaire Bob Arum, speaking of Murdock to The Courier-Mail, said of the 25-year-old Nerang native, “Murdock has a lot of talent, a lot of charisma and he can be a major star in the super-middleweight division. He’s a work in progress but I am confident from what I’ve seen that he can be a big star.’’
We are not experts in any sense of the word, but Murdock has won 20 of 21 fights, his only loss a disputed points decision in 2011. How that makes him a work in progress is something Arum would have to explain.
Murdock is obviously pleased by the arc his career seems to be taking. “Fighting for a world title on the Gold Coast feels unbelievable,” Murdock said.“Bob Arum has promoted some of the biggest fights in history — so the potential for a world title just adds motivation for me to keep winning these next fights and bring that world title belt to Australia.”
“We have a long road to get to that but we believe in our ability,’’said Murdock, using plural pronouns to acknowledge the contributions of his support group.
Long road, indeed. Ramirez has never been beaten in 36 attempts.
Murdock has been ranked as high as number six in the world and on the basis of records, he should be considered the favourite against Ustarkhanov, as the latter has only 15 wins.