Almanac Boxing: Murray Thomson – A boxing life.

Murray Thomson, Johnny Famechon and Dave G

Murray Thomson, Johnny Famechon and Dave G

Murray Thomson has seen his fair share of fights. That would stand to reason after being in the boxing game for 35 years.

A former boxer turned trainer and promoter, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen in the game.

Owner of the Fighters Factory in the leafy suburb of Blackburn, he has most likely seen thousands of would-be fighters filter through the gym. Some good, some not so good but all welcome.

Down to earth and easy going, Muzz, as he is known, has a rather gentlemanly habit of introducing everybody to everyone in the gym. Anyone who walks in the door is considered a friend.

People feel comfortable with Murray and that’s why they like the gym. He will give you time, talk you through the sport and adapt to your level of boxing. He caters for everyone from fully fledged pro fighters, to amateurs, kids, women and corporate types like myself that need to lose a few kilos.

Many a troubled young man has also been guided through rough patches by Murray and his gym. In perhaps his most important role in boxing, he has taken kids off the street and given them a purpose.

In the rough and tumble world of boxing, Murray Thomson is a gentleman.

Now 50 years old, he is preparing for his 71st boxing promotion, surely some type of record in Australia.

With respect hard earned in the no compromise boxing community, Muzz has earned his stripes.

As a fighter he won an Australian amateur title to go along with his silver medal in the Oceania Championships. Sporting an amateur record of 37 wins in 49 fights, it’s clear he could “go a bit”.

He also won a place on the Olympic team to Los Angeles in 1984 but for some quirk of fate, they didn’t send him. His teammate on that team would have been Jeff Fenech.

After turning professional, Murray fought his way to a four win, one loss and one draw record before retiring for reasons that only he knows.

I saw him fight one night. In 1992 he came up against a stocky fighter by the name of Benny Horra, at a makeshift boxing stadium at the Knox Netball centre.

In 40 degree stifling heat, these two gladiators stood toe to toe, throwing punches in bunches. The Mike Tyson look alike Benny Hora, rained lefts and rights onto the slick moving, crisp boxer that was Murray.

In the best fight of the night, a draw was a perfect result. Muzz thinks he earned the win though and he laughs about it now.

Murray Thompson with young fighter

Murray Thomson with young fighter

As a trainer he has had some good ones. Plenty of Australian title winners and a couple of world title aspirants.

Julian Holland was a former Commonwealth title holder that reached the top 10 in the world. His biggest win was against Aussie Shannon Taylor. Nigerian Wale Omotoso, got within a whisker of a world title shot before he left Australia for the US. Both were under his care and both were exceptional fighters.

He goes “at it” again with a promotion on the 19th of February at the Doncaster Shoppingtown hotel with a fight night tipped to be a “barnburner”.

Murray Thomson protégé, Blackburns Lewis Goodrich, the former Victorian Welterweight champion, comes up against ex Australian kickboxing king, Mulgrave’s, Brent Dames, in a bout to determine who will take the next step toward a Victorian title.

With a boxing record of only one win and a loss as a professional, 25 year old Dames hasn’t had a lot of boxing experience but he brings plenty of ring experience as a kick boxer and highlights a tidy record of 12 wins and only two loses.

For 25 year old Lewis Goodrich, it’s a chance to get back on the winners list after losing his last three fights.

The card will also feature undefeated fan favourite Korobo Etto, Templestowe debutant, the hard hitting Matt Portelli, and former kickboxer turned boxer Chase Haley.

Doors open at 6.30pm with the first fight on at 7.30 pm at the Doncaster Shoppingtown Hotel, 19th February.

Tickets available at the door or at the Fighters Factory Blackburn, on 9877 7344.

For Murray, there is no doubt he will be busy on fight night ensuring everything runs to plan, and as always, he will continue to fly the flag of a sport lucky to have him.

About David Griffin

Lover of coffee, sport and human endeavour. A writer and life enthusiast with a shameless admiration for dogged persistent people that get 'stuff' done.

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