WE walk down the narrow corridor in a hushed line, the silence broken only by the squeaking of our shoes on the blue vinyl floor and the low hum of the fight crowd inside the Ulster Hall in Belfast. Andy Lee, the former world champion middleweight turned boxing trainer, leads the way.
“It’s hard to say this without sounding vicious, but you want to hurt him,” Josh Taylor suggests quietly on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday morning. “You want to go in there and do as much damage as possible. But, having said that, you hope you don’t do any real damage after the fight is over. You’re just there to do a job. You’re going to hit him as hard, as fast and as often as you can. In boxing you don’t get paid overtime. So you want to get him out of there as soon as possible.
“It will be quite a moment,” Oisín Murphy says as he looks forward to this Saturday afternoon at Ascot when he will be crowned champion jockey. The 24-year-old from Killarney is eloquent and assured and, apart from being able to speak four languages, carries the same addiction to winning as all the great champions. Murphy has also overcome resentment in the weighing room and taken punches from older jockeys who did not like the speed of his rise after he left Ireland for England six years ago.