DERRY Kickboxer, Caitlin Murphy has quickly turned her attentions to the 2018 WKU World Championships in Athens after enjoying her first taste of glory in the sport.
Having burst onto the local kickboxing scene just 18 months ago, the Galliagh teenager wasted no time in gunning down her first title when winning the WRSA Celtic title in Scotland recently.
The brave 15 year-old student, faced a daunting trip to Glasgow to fight Paisley native, Abbie Scally in her own backyard but the Derry girl showed her class on her way to a convincing victory to bring back the title to Top Ring Kickboxing Club on the Strand Road.
It was a brilliant feat made all that more impressive given she had recently shaken off a viral infection and completed a tough six week training schedule all while studying for her GSCE modules at Thornhill College.
And while her proud coach. Uel Murphy admitted Caitlin was ‘apprehensive’ at first, he was delighted with how she accepted the challenge and quickly grew in confidence during her training camp.
When arriving in Glasgow on fight night, the Derry girl, sponsored by Romeos, showed tremendous spirit and turned on the style from the first bell as she dominated her opponent throughout the five rounds.
I wouldn’t take anybody over there to make up numbers. I knew she was ready for it.Uel Murphy
“She’s relatively new to the sport,” explained Uel. “She’s only been training a year and a half or so. At Caitlin’s age it can be a bit daunting but you have to make it as painless as possible.”
She had experience fighting at the British Championships in Birmingham about six weeks prior to the Celtic title bout but fighting in front of a vociferous support was a totally new experience for the Derry girl. However her coach didn’t hesitate in putting her forward to challenge for the belt when approached by the WRSA Federation.
“I wouldn’t take anybody over who wasn’t prepared to do their very best,” added Uel. “I wouldn’t take anybody over there to make up numbers. I knew she was ready for it.
“The WRSA approached us asking if we had anybody at that weight who could contend for a Celtic title and I said ‘Yes’ we did.
“She probably was a bit apprehensive at the start but that’s only natural. Within a couple of days we made our minds up and we were going for it. As the weeks progressed and she went into a six week training programme she became more and more confident.”
And once she took to the ring on the night, it was clear there was only going to be one winner and she forced a standing count in the second round with a powerful overhand right which landed flush as she silenced the crowd.
“The girl was stunned by it and had no answer to it in the first round. That set the pace for the rest of the fight. “In the fourth round I realised we were so far ahead and I told her to just go out and enjoy herself.”
Caitlin isn’t the only member of the Murphy household who has a real talent in the sport with her eight year-old sister, Annie, sponsored by Shannon Hotel, taking up the mantle and currently ranked No. 2 in the WKU.
Both sisters will be action at the annual Top Ring fight show on October 6th next at the Cosh Bar and Grill when Caitlin hopes to defend her Celtic title before travelling to Greece later that month for the World Championships.