It's going to be the new
Seven Wonders of the World
The dust has barely settled on ProKick’s latest successful event ‘The Italian Job II’ – and now one of the Northern Ireland’s leading sporting names is set to launch an audacious attempt to have SEVEN world titles held by his local organisation. Billy Murray, a former four-time four weight world champion kickboxer, has been responsible for bringing his ProKick Gym group incredible success within the sport.
At present, there are four world and three European champions in his east Belfast gym – including local hero Gary Hamilton. Now, Murray plans to promote the biggest event to date in his 25 years as a promoter and in Belfast - seven world titles will be up for grabs. And if all goes to plan it will be Murray trained Northern Irish kickboxer’s who will own them all. “Nothing like this has ever been attempted before,” he said. “To have one world title on the card at any event is a thrill. To have a show of this calibre all the stops are being pulled out – reigning champs don’t like to be anywhere except top of the bill. What I am planning will be an organisational nightmare, a hugely costly exercise and will also put the titles of all my champions on the line. Worst case, it complete clears out the trophy cabinet. So this is not something I am going into lightly. “But Northern Ireland is ready for this. We are the power-house of European kickboxing. Let’s move to the next level and make us an absolute force on the world level.
“Arranging a card to accommodate so many champs, with all their needs, will be so, so hard. But the rewards are great. I’m going to get my guys ready and early 2008, it’s going to happen. It's going to be the new seven wonders of the world!”
Murray said he is currently negotiating with venues and broadcasters at present to fix dates, he is also arranging opponents from every corner of the globe so it will be a truly global event. The event will also be screened LIVE Pay-Per-View.
Meet the champions
Fran Spence Irish atomweight champion. Spence is a brave, gritty fighter who has overcome cancer to take her crown.
Lydia Braniff World atomweight champion. Braniff a post-woman by day, she delivers knockout blows by night. Singled out as a fighter of quality by fan ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler
Cathy McAleer Celtic Bantamweight champion. A supreme athlete, the health club manager is also a reigning karate world champion. She loves the rigours of both sports.
Stuart Jess European champion. The north Down builder came to ProKick as his three cousins were already members. His natural ability and terrier-like spirit are certain to carry him to further glory.
Gary Hamilton World featherweight champion. He is the fighter all others in the gym, and across Ireland, look up and aspire to be. A quietly spoken gent outside of the ring, the Belfast man is a Tasmanian devil inside.
Andrew Grimason World Light middleweight champion. Was nicknamed the Grim Reaper because of his deadly, unstoppable right hand, he gave up a promising football career to concentrate on the ring.
Ian Young European super welterweight champion. A former league winning footballer with Linfield, the Newtownards based insurance broker is the gym pin-up and has a bevy of female fans who follow his every fight.
Mark Hennessey European middleweight champion. This law student has a real style and grace in the ring. It took him past much more experienced fighters to his title and will carry him to a shot at world glory.
Ken Horan Amateur World champion. The car salesman from Galway has made Prokick his adopted home and frequently makes gruelling round-trips to train in the gym, such is the quality of coaching on offer.
James Gillen Amateur Celtic heavyweight champion. A fighter with a lot of guts and a big heart who came to kickboxing after seeing Murray beat Thai legend Chart Singh at the Waterfront Hall in 2000.
Darren Dougan Amateur Celtic Nations champion. A fighter promoter and instructor. Darren runs the Golden Dragon Tai Jitsu club in Magherafelt. A store manager by day and a ninja by night.
Back to news