It was good news to hear that Joe Gallagher and John Murray have decided to patch up their differences and put the recent fall out behind them, to once again team up ahead of Murray’s December 3rd, WBA world lightweight title challenge against Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios in New York.
Both had parted company last month, after a 12 year long working relationship and Gallagher felt at the time he had been treated unfairly, having taken Murray through his professional career, unbeaten in 31 fights, before coming unstuck against Kevin Mitchell in July.
Gallagher revealed Murray had not been taking his training and boxing career as seriously as he should have been and dismissed the claim that he had taken on too many students into his successful camp. At one point Gallagher went public about Murray’s drinking habits to try and shock John and send a message out to any of his friends who had designs on leading him astray.
In an interview with BritishBoxers on the day Murray left him by a text message, Gallagher was brutally honest and straight in his frank assessment of the situation and was upset that after dedicating a Hugh part of his life to Murray he deserved more than second hand news, that nearly brought a sour end to what was a once tight friendship.
Murray 26, the former English, British and European belt holder, had told Terry Dooley of BoxingScene.com that he felt like he needed a change and after years of working with Joe, it was time to move on. He started to train under his manager and Leeds boxing coach Mike Marsden and it seemed that the relationship with Gallagher was beyond repair. Murray later stated that he found it hard to speak to Joe sometimes and didn’t want to discuss his decision with him.
Meantime during this transitional period for Murray, the former Lonsdale belt holder was offered an unlikely and bolt out of the blue world title fight with Bam Bam Rios, after Kevin Mitchell was ruled out of a fight with the American champion, because of an impending court case in the UK and his ineligibility to travel to the States.
Murray began training for the biggest fight of his life in Leeds with Marsden, but after realising that the traveling to Yorkshire everyday from Manchester and having to start training with a new coach on the eve of the biggest fight of his life, on the biggest stage of all was a chance he wasn’t prepared to take.
So after the dust had settled and Murray had time to ponder and re think things with a clearer head, his instincts and obvious longtime loyalty brought him back to the man who knows him best and the trainer he knows like no other.
“Since splitting with Joe, I’ve been training down in Leeds with my manager Mick Marsden,” said Murray.
“Traveling back and forth from Manchester to Leeds has been a bit much, especially as I’m currently preparing for a world title fight. Training with a new coach ahead of the biggest fight of my career would have been a major risk and one I’m not willing to take. So I decided to phone Joe.
“We had a good chat and talked about the reasons why we fell out. We’ve patched things up now and I’ve returned to his gym. It’s the right move. Joe knows me better than anyone else. It gives us a chance to right a few wrongs from the Kevin Mitchell fight. It’s time for us to finish what we started and win a world title.”
“I’ve been with Joe as a professional for about eight and a half years, we won the English, British and European titles together. It’s time for us to get that world title on our CV now.
“I’ve talked to him about my issues and he’s talked to me about his issues. We’ve shook hands and made up. Now we want to go over to America and beat Brandon Rios. We’re both confident we can do so.
“Mick is still my manager,” Murray added. – “He just won’t be training me anymore. He understood completely when I told him that I wanted to go back with Joe. He realised that I was doing too much travelling. He’s happy with the decision as he wants whatever is best for me.”
Gallagher and Murray had a strong bond and got to the brink of a world title shot, before the loss to Mitchell and it looked like Murray had thrown away his chance and long time trainer in quick succession. But with bygones now bygones and all their laundry cleaned and put in order, they can now put the past behind them, welcome a fresh start and fulfill the journey and mission that they embarked on together many years ago.