Fine shocks John Murray's team

The Times9th July, 2009

The team of John Murray were left in shock after Murray, Joe Gallagher, his trainer, and Mike Marsden, his manager, were each fined £1,500 with an additional £250 costs after Murray failed to make the weight for his British lightweight title defence against Scott Lawton last month.

Murray (pictured with brother Joe in Las Vegas) surrendered his title in the most unsatisfactory of ways when he scaled 1.8oz over the 9st 9lb limit. However, having been delayed in traffic on the way to the weigh-in, Murray only had five minutes to try and lose the weight, which he failed to do. The bout went ahead, with only Lawton able to win the title, but Murray stopped him in six rounds, extending his unbeaten record to 27 bouts.

It was always likely that Murray would face a fine, but it is the severity of the fine that has left Murray's team so shocked. In recent, similar, cases fines are believed to have been closer to £500 with only the boxer punished.

"We were all in stunned silence," Gallagher said. "John was very proud to be British champion and I was very proud to train a British champion. Losing the title was already a huge blow.

"But he only missed the weight by a tiny amount. And we believe that if the scales had been on a wooden floor, rather than a carpet, it might have made the difference. But it was our fault and we accept that. In future we will aim to get half a pound under the limit rather than right on the weight. I'm only a trainer. I work full time and I have to work nights. That is a lot of money."

A decision over whether they will appeal is still to be made.

Ironically, the Board have also sanctioned Murray to box for the title he vacated against Jon Thaxton, the former British and European champion. A purse bid has been called for August 12, with the bout to take place by the end of December.