Andrew Murphy earns first belt as boxing returns to Yakima

TOPPENISH, Wash. — Returning to the Yakima Valley for the first time as a professional boxer, Selah native Andrew “White Lightning” Murphy dominated his sixth-professional match on Thursday night. By unanimous decision, the 22-year-old defeated Isiah Jones, 27, to earn the title of National Boxing Association (NBA) Super Middleweight Champion.

Hundreds of fans from across the region came out to the Legends Casino and Hotel in Toppenish to show support for the first pro boxing match in Yakima County since the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Murphy, who donned black and gold, being able to fight in front of his family and friends was “really exciting.”

“I work hard and that’s one thing that nobody can take away from me, so to be able to work hard, come here and live my dream is a complete blessing,” Murphy said. “I’ve got God. God has put me here so I know if God put me here, I can do anything through him.”

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He remains undefeated, winning four out of his six matches by knockout. He’s fought across North America with victories in Alabama, Mexico and Atlanta.

Under the guidance of boxing icon and Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr., Murphy has also spent two years in Pensacola, Fl. training with one of the world’s greatest fighters and his longtime idol.

“Shoot, I got in trouble in high school because I was turning the wallpapers in the library to pictures of Roy Jones Jr.,” Murphy said.

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For Jones. Jr, it was Murphy’s “willingness to learn” that stood out.

“He’s one of the most dedicated young guys I’ve ever met,” Jones Jr. said. “Just having the eagerness with no skill, you won’t have a long career. But now that we’re trying to put a little skill with his eagerness, I think we’ll make him a better fighter and give him a lot more longevity.”

At six feet tall and weighing 168 pounds even, Andrew Murphy said he’s ready for what comes next.

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