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St Helens boxer Martin Murray 'buzzing' about next fight
MARTIN Murray is buzzing about his future as preparations for his next contest gather pace.
The 30-year-old British middleweight champion from Fingerpost, who will stage a public workout at Saints’ Langtree Stadium next month, says a ‘massive’ fight looks to be on the cards in 2013 to follow his appearance on the undercard of the Ricky Hatton comeback show at the MEN Arena in just over four weeks’ time.
Although his opponent on November 24 has not yet been secured, Murray is excited about the prospect of what is set to come after revealing his career went a little ‘flat’ for him following his world title draw with Felix Sturm in Germany 11 months ago.
He had to pull out of a WBC world title challenge with Julio Cesar Chavez in the USA due to problems obtaining a visa in time, but did get back into the ring in June to secure his 24th professional win with a defeat of French champion Karim Achour at the Manchester Velodrome.
“My next opponent keeps changing to be honest but I’m not too fussed because next year we’ve possibly got a massive fight coming up and it’s close to an announcement,” said Murray during a break from sparring.
“So we’re hopeful there will be some good and big news very soon. We’re just drawing everything up now and deep into negotiations with it and it’s looking very promising.
“I’d love to be able to tell more but I can’t until everything’s signed.”
With regards to next month, Murray hopes to challenge for the vacant WBA interim title on the big bill.
He said: “We are trying to get the big fights made but it just hasn’t been happening.
“I suppose right now I am high risk, low reward for a lot of the champions and big name challengers.
“Matthew Macklin, Craig McEwan and Andy Lee have all knocked back the chance to face me, but I just have to keep plodding on.
“If I had a world title I would get fights no problem, but without a belt my rivals see me as a danger and have nothing to gain.
“I don’t get disappointed because I am still enjoying my training. That is going well and I remain confident that there will be big fights in the near future.”
He can’t wait to get back in the ring and says it is not a problem to be training for an unknown opponent.
“After the Sturm fight it went a bit flat for me which I was a bit disappointed and frustrated about because I thought things would really take off for me after that fight,” he said.
“It did, but my Chavez fight got knocked back and it sort of stagnated a bit so I was a bit disappointed at that time but my future now looks really promising. I’ve got over the tough bit and I’m looking forward to some good times ahead.
“I don’t find it tough to prepare for a fight in which I don’t know who the opponent is going to be.
“I can just focus on the date.
“The first part of training is getting yourself fit, getting yourself used to going the distance of 12 rounds, getting your weight down, and then as the weeks go on that’s when you start working on tactics for your opponent.”
Murray, lifted by the Sportsperson honour he won at the Pride of St Helens Awards two weeks ago, is looking forward to giving his supporters an insight to what he does behind the scenes in the build-up to a big fight.
He will be holding an exhibition training session at Langtree Park on Saturday, November 10, starting at noon. Entry will be free but tickets must be obtained in advance from Saints’ club shop.
“I’m very lucky to have the club backing me and I’m very grateful,” said Murray “And I’m very lucky to have the support I’ve got. People watch me every time I fight, they’re always there, but they never get to see what goes on behind the scenes.
“So this is to give people a chance to see for themselves and I think, for health and safety reasons, they can get 300 people in to watch.
“If 300 turn up to watch me do a public workout I’d be made up.”
Murray’s not the only big name appearing at Saints’ home next month.
Australian rugby league legend Darren Lockyer will host a special World Cup forum on Friday, November 9, at 7pm with Saints legends past and present also in attendance. Tickets are £30 and £20, with more details available on the Saints website.