|Billy Murray began kickboxing after
being attacked by a group of thugs as a school boy. He vowed
never to let it happen to him again.
Setting about learning martial arts as a means of self-defence
in the early 70's, Billy showed the kind of gritty determination
that would see him rise through the ranks to become a world
beater. Progressing quickly through various disciplines - including
Karate and Ju Jitsu - he found full contact kick boxing suited
him best. His first fight was over twenty years ago, his first
world title (as an amateur) came in 1987. With the title came
the confidence to turn professional.
Earlier, in 1986, he spotted a gap in the promotion and business
side of his sport. He brought the cream of the world's martial
artists to compete in Belfast. He even promoted one of his own
title shots - a 1988 European clash against Dutchman Toni Habberland.
By so doing, he started a trend within kickboxing, which saw
him switching easily between the inside and outside of the ring.
By 1989 he was Professional World Champion - an honour he would
hold at four different weight divisions for almost spanning
He retired undefeated in 1997 but planned a fantastic final
fight in his native Belfast on March 25, 2000. The winner take
all bout against Thai World Champion Chart Singh from Bangkok,
was an explosive, incident-packed thriller in front of a capacity
audience of over 2,500 people at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
The event was also a success outside the ring, raising over
£5000 for the Royal Victoria Hospital!
Billy now devotes his time to coaching ProKick students, promoting
shows, producing kickboxing programs for Eurosport, Sky Sports,
UTV and TV 3, and traveling the world as a global ambassador