By Gary Curreri
Jordan Murphy loves fighting.
The Deerfield Beach teenager recently won his third national Silver Gloves boxing championship and said he plans to join the military when he turns 18 and fight for his country.
Murphy, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Lyons Creek Middle School in Coconut Creek, and a member of the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Police Athletic League (PAL) boxing program, recently won top honors as in the 80-lb., 14/ 15 age division at the National Silver Gloves boxing tournament in Independence, Missouri when he defeated Patrick Fair (Ohio) by unanimous decision.
Murphy has three national titles (2010 National Junior Golden Gloves, 2013 Ringside World and now 2014 National Silver Gloves), in addition to four state and four regional titles just for the silver gloves tournaments. He has also accumulated several Junior Olympic state titles and Police Athletic League titles.
“I absolutely believed I would win the championship,” said Murphy, who will compete in the upcoming State Golden Gloves competition on March 27-29 in West Palm Beach and the State Junior Olympics competition in Boca Raton on April 12.
“I knew that I worked hard and that I worked hard for a reason and that was to win,” said Murphy, who has been boxing in the PAL program in Deerfield Beach for the past six years. “Boxing has taught me to behave in school and not to let anything get to you. It has also taught me to work hard to achieve what you want.”
Murphy trains three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 1-1/2 hours each day. He said the rigorous training gives him confidence when he is about to go one-on-one with his opponent.
“When I walk in the ring I am a little nervous at first,” said Murphy, who has compiled a 52-8 record. “As soon as the bell rings, I know that I have confidence in myself that I am going to win the fight most of the time.”
It was redemption of sorts for Murphy who fought a close fight last year in the finals of the 75-lb., 12/13 age division, but dropped a split decision to Malik Nelson (New Jersey).
Murphy competed in a series of national boxing competitions and came out as the national champ for his class. Murphy trained extensively with his coach, Steve Collazo, and had to win several local and regional boxing matches in order to make it to the nationals.
“Jordan has worked long and hard to achieve one goal, to be the best,” said his coach, Collazo. “He was very determined to win this year, especially after falling short in the finals last year.”
In order to reach the nationals, Murphy captured the Silver Gloves State Tournament in early December 2013 in Ft. Pierce, making him the Florida State Silver Glove 80 lb., 14- 15 years-of-age champ. Murphy then won the Regional Silver Gloves competition in early January in Maryland, making him the Region 3 champ to advance to the Silver Gloves Nationals held in Independence, Missouri.
When he turns 18, Murphy is going to be fighting a bigger cause.
“I am going to join the military and box in the military before I go pro,” Murphy said. “I want to help our country out and fight for freedom and our rights. I kind of think about that when I go into the ring now.”
Murphy also plays baseball in the Junior Division of the Deerfield Beach Little League. He is a pitcher and shortstop for the White Sox and has been on the diamond for the past seven years.
“I like boxing more,” Murphy said.
Collazo said BSO’s Police Athletic League provides youths an opportunity to stay out of trouble by participating in sports and other activities after school or during the summer.
The activities are structured to attract all youths regardless of their previous athletic abilities. PAL’s goal is to provide them with activities that build character and self-esteem, foster positive relationships, enhance self-awareness and promote good citizenship.
All PAL programs are free of charge. All participants must be currently in a school or home schooled. For more information, contact BSO Deputy Butch Santy at 954-778-0174.