By Sylvana Ambrosanio

05/09/13

"As an amateur I fought in over 200 bouts with a record of 221 wins and 17 loses.  I have won a couple national tournaments and travelled the world. Look out for Derrick ‘Whoop Dat Ass’ Murray cause I’m up and coming and when I come it’s gonna be known! (laughs)  Follow me on Facebook at Soja Murray and follow my career so I can show you boxing is still alive!" Check out what Derrick Murray had to share:

SA: Can we start by you introducing yourself to our readers?

DM: Yes I’m Derrick Murray and I really started boxing because my big sister was a boxer and she would have the family come support her then one day she went and talked to my mom and the coach and they made me start going to practice and saw that I was a little decent so forced me to work out every day. Then I started to like it. So now I'm just taking my time trying to become a world champion in this boxing game.

SA: Your ringname is “WHOOP DAT ASS”...

DM: Well how that name came around was this manager used to have named (Repo Rick) and he saw me perform and was like man you be whooping ass and was like what’s your nickname cause with a name like that and you actually doing it, you will blow up.

SA: So was there any advice that you got when you started boxing and joining the amateurs?

DM: The only advice I really got was from my coach and he says he’ll make a champ out of me as long as I dedicate myself and I said to him ‘Sir, practice makes perfect’.

SA: Tell us about your amateur career...

DM: As an amateur I fought in over 200 bouts with a record of 221 wins and 17 loses.  I have won a couple national tournaments and travelled the world.  Met a lot of fighters and important people and got introduced to a lot of different things. I was nine years old when I first stepped in the ring and I achieved going to the nationals 6 times and being ranked. Also getting the scholarship to box in college.  

SA: What was it that made you decide to turn pro?  

DM: Well I was getting ready for the US Championship Nationals when I wasn’t able to travel on that trip and that was my last run before I was deciding to turn pro. So since I couldn’t take that trip I turned pro and fought that following week. I turned pro in 2011 and won against James Grant by TKO. I would use the word thrilled and excited getting the win by TKO cause he was a bigger opponent and I took the fight on a weeks notice. 

SA: You have had 6 pro fights now, is there one fight which you are particularly pleased with?

DM: Yes I am pleased with mostly all of them but the third fight I am more pleased with because I came in the fight with everyone having the odds of me losing.  I fight a guy undefeated with the reach and height advantage and I was to go down and not being close to winning.

SA: Tell us some of your good and bad memories during your professional career? 

DM: I love that I took that bigger step but it’s not going as fast as I thought it would and the movement is slower than a regular unsigned fighter.  But I’m signed and still fighting only every eight to nine months apart. Only bad memories that I have are with my manager (Steve Ricky (REPO) Rick).

SA: What would you say are your best attributes?

DM: My best attributes are my left hook and my defence all around and I work on it inside and outside the ring. My head movement and quick reflects are out of this world. 

SA: What does a normal day look like preparing for a fight?  

DM: I wake up and get my 5 ½ mile run in at 8 in the morning.  Then I rest until about 12 noon, then go and work on my cardio and stretches.  Then I rest until about 5 in the afternoon, then I get my gym work in. I run for about an hour then cardio for two hours and gym work for three and a half hours.

SA: How much time do you spend researching your next opponent? 

DM: Sometimes I don’t research them at all but if they have fights on YouTube then I would glance through and see which hand he is or the pace, then I just focus on me being in perfect shape.  It does help out but at the early stages just being in tip top shape will defeat a lot of my opponents.

SA: You last fought in November 2012 against Oscar Chinchilla. When can we expect to see you back in the ring?

DM: I’m set up to fight May 17th and I don’t have one lined up yet but I’m pretty sure my promotion team has a couple lined up for me. I would love to have the record of 10-0 or close to it at the end of this year. 

SA: We’ve learnt about you in the ring, who is Derrick without the gloves on?

DM: I’m a hardworking man with 2 jobs and raise a 3 year old boy and I fight the devil every day of my life. I like basketball and swimming and being a good father. I grew up in a community center.  Everyday all day I was in sports so right after school I would hit the center and get into something positive.  I also did two years in college for education 

SA: How does a career in pro boxing affect your life on the outside?

DM: It affects it in every way because you have to carry yourself different and you have to be careful of everything you do cause someone is always watching.

SA: Who are you favourite all-time and current boxers? 

DM: Pernell Whittaker and Zab Judah because their fight game is similar to mine.

SA: Are there any fights you are looking forward to watching as a fan of boxing?

I would watch any and all fighters just because of the love that I have for the sport itself.

SA: Is there anything that you would like to share?

DM: Look out for Derrick ‘Whoop Dat Ass’ Murray cause I’m up and coming and when I come it’s gonna be known! (laughs)  Follow me on Facebook at Soja Murray and follow my career so I can show you boxing is still alive!