Inducted on November 9, 1995
Irish Pat Murphy was born on June 1 st, 1949 and raised in West New York, New Jersey. He started boxing at age 14 when his uncle, Frank Laverty, took him to a boxing gym for the first time. He soon found himself not only holding his own, but often outboxing older and more experienced fighters.
After posting an amateur record of 20-5, Pat turned pro at age 18 while still a student at Memorial High School. Starting as a lightweight, he was attracting attention as a skillful boxer who could punch.
One day after Pat’s 10th pro fight his father, Pat Sr., who had worked his corner, passed away. Although he continued to win, Irish Pat missed his father’s presence in his corner.
Eventually moving up to the welterweight division, he won his first 25 fights and in 1967, was New Jersey’s Fighter of the Year. His first loss came against welterweight contender Donato Paduano as the Main Event in Madison Square Garden.
Over the next few years, under the tutelage of legendary trainer Freddie Brown, Murphy would face the best fighters in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. The list includes ex-welterweight world champs John Stracey, whom he fought in England, and Billy Backus as well as traveling to Nova Scotia to face contender Clyde Gray, whom Murphy still considers the best he’s ever faced.
In 1974, Irish Pat would take an extended leave from boxing. Within five months he lost his younger brother and his mom. Now, more than ever, Pat needed a break.
In 1977, Irish Pat Murphy made his return to the ring.
He won his first five fights including four KO’s before losing to Mustafa Hamsho, who went on to challenge Marvin Hagler for the middleweight title.
Traveling to Italy, Pat fought his last fight against another former world champ, middleweight Rocky Mattioli.
Although he never held a world title, (he ranked as high as 5th in the world) most who’ve seen him fight agree that his destiny was in his own hands. Pat himself readily admits that if he had worked harder, anything was possible .
Irish Pat Murphy was managed by Pat Sullivan and, later, 1995 Hall of Fame inductee, Joe Vella.
Boxing Record: Irish Pat Murphy