Boy Murphy was born in Pakistan and won the middleweight boxing championship of Egypt when he was only 17-years-old. In the early 1920s he joined the Irish National Army. He won Irish boxing titles in 1924 (middleweight) and won light-heavyweight titles in 1927-30 and 1932. Eschewing the chance to turn professional he joined the Garda Síochana in 1926 and was stationed in many towns around Ireland, including Dublin, Limerick, Claremorris, Tralee, Cavan, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Newcastle (County Tipperary) and Waterford. In most of those towns he helped set up boxing clubs and coached and trained young fighters.