It's been a hectic 12 months for Bronx-based Cork welterweight Noel Murphy.
Tonight, Murphy (11-0, 2 KOs), who is promoted by Lou DiBella's company, fights his sixth opponent in a year.
In July he defeated the previously unbeaten Julio Cesar Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) at Barclays Centre on the Mikey Garcia v Adrien Broner show that Katie Taylor fought on.
"Noel is smart," says his manager Kevin Crowley. "He knows that to make progress he has to keep stepping up and testing himself against tougher opposition."
The Corkman is delighted to be fighting in Ireland.
Crowley says: "He sometimes feels that people at home aren't aware of how well he's been doing. Unfortunately some Irish fights we'd planned fell through, through no fault of our own. But this headline fight presents a new challenge."
In as a late replacement for the indisposed Stephen Carroll, former EU champion Gyorgy Mizsei Jr (25-20-1, 15 KOs) is here to meet Murphy (23) on Red Corner Promotions' 'Champions Elect' show at the National Stadium.
A tough 23-year old Hungarian who's had 46 pro fights, and has gone the distance with Anthony Crolla, Terry Flanagan and Thomas Stalker, Mizsei can bang. "This could be tough," says Crowley. "We're not taking him lightly. He's very experienced."
With DiBella creating a pathway for him in the US, Murphy knows that he needs to deliver tonight to maintain momentum.
"Lou has been great for Noel," says Crowley. "He's putting him on big shows and getting Noel used to fighting on big nights in big venues. It's great experience and will stand to him as he develops."
DiBella's strategy is to get the groundwork done and then move his chosen fighters on to televised events to help them reach a wider audience.
"He has great contacts with the two main broadcasting networks," says Crowley. "I expect Noel will fight on ShowBox TV first. These are exciting times for Noel."
Training in the Worldwide Boxing Gym, which has seven tough pros on the books, Murphy has been getting what Crowley describes as "unbelievable" sparring and is mixing it with the best. Among the big guns he's traded off with are Chris Algieri and Luis Collazo.
His coach Marcos Suarez arrived in Dublin yesterday and the stage is set for Murphy to take another step towards the big time.
"He's definitely had a great year so far," says mentor Kevin. "His spirits are high and we're confident this fight will bring him on."