Billy Murray talks to FIGHTMAG about his all-round experience in kickboxing.
Billy Murray is the most successful Full Contact kick-boxer out of Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is a former four-time world champion in four different categories. He is also the WKN director, head trainer at ProKick Gym as well as a promoter of the numerous knockout gala.
“I started martial arts in 1972 at the age of 15 beat-up at school to learning self defense from a book “Beginners Guide to Kung-FU” to traditional Karate, boxing and Ju-Jitsu with my first kickboxing fight Full-contact karate was in 1979; I promoted my first event in 1982 and am still going today,” Murray briefly outlines the beginning of the great times.
“Every show is always my last,” he says.
“I make a comparison to a woman having childbirth, most forget the pain and move on to another baby…”
“My shows are my babies, that’s me.”
Billy Murray is an inventor of such names as Kickboxing Mania, Fright Night, LadyKillers, Bash N Mash, Thai-Tanic, KICKmas and more.
“The names are all my fault…sorry,”
“I like playing with words for names of shows all little angles for PR, as every little bit helps to get a few inches in the papers.”
“And if there something that sounds different and helps it stands out a little better and may even help people remember it.”
“For names of events if I’m stuck I bounce them off two good friends in Belfast,”
“The both I’ve known for over 30 years Paul, he is a boxing promoter who helps on my kickboxing events. And the other – Alex a journalist the pair think I’ve lost the plot at times but phone me saying what about this or that.”
“I’ve done all the usual: Fight Night, Night of Kickboxing, Championship kickboxing, International kickboxing, Championship International kickboxing, World Championship kickboxing and the list goes on.”
“North Vs South, Scotland Vs Ireland, Scotland Vs Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Vs France and Northern Ireland Vs England and many other countries.”
“My first Kickboxing MANIA was in 95 which screened on ESPN and all it’s territories. I think 4 Pro Kickboxing world titles.”
“I made 10 Kickboxing MANIA’s,”
“Van-Damme was booked for that event and didn’t turn-up.”
“‘The Next Generation’ shows – I’ve no idea about 40 or more. Good shows for beginners, sounds better than ‘Novice Fight Night'”
“‘The Graduation’ was the next level to Next Generation or The Quest for new stars. The Quest for New Stars’ – loads,”
“Fright Night – Halloween special.”
“Bash n Mash is our black tie dinner shows – they are great,”
“Done about 15 of them maybe more but under different names ‘Dinner fight night, ‘Bash after the Mash’.”
“‘Celts Vs Vikings’ 4 or 5 of them it was Ireland Vs Norway,”
“ThaiTanic’ was great, it was at the right time – celebrating the 100 year story of the Titanic.”
“‘Ladykillers’ – an all girl show – the first ever in Ireland and the first in the UK too, no idea in Europe.”
“‘The Italian Job’, ‘King of the welterweight’ – an 8 man event”
“Brawl on the Wall” – Derry’s Walls are famous in Londonderry and all over the world.”
This Saturday December 14, Billy Murray promotes KICKmas 2013 at Ulster Hall.
The WKN kickboxing championship of the world headlines the show. The current title holder Daniel Zahra jets from Malta to face off the local favorite Gary Hamilton in the defense of his belt.
“Everyone of the fights on the KICKmas card could be a headliner,” says Murray.
“Even though they are amateur – they are a good level, as they train like Pro’s. Kongolo Vs Brooks will be a cracker, I am excited about that one.”
“Gary Hamilton started with me when he was 15 and he is 33 now.”
“He has lost 4 of his best years due to some personal trouble – split from his wife, mother and father dying less than a year apart. Basically not knowing which way he wanted to go.”
“Now he seems focused, time will tell how much he really wants it.”
“But one thing for sure I’ve got him fit and the desire seems to be back.”
“Gary needs to win this fight.
“All the years he is with me and in all that time we have never had a cross word or argument, I very fond of him.”
“We have succeeded in the sport here, though hard work… and that comes at a price.”