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Martin Murray unfazed by media frenzy
IF world title challenger Martin Murray did not already know just how massive his fight against legendary WBC champion Sergio Martinez is going to be - he does now after walking into a media frenzy in the Argentine’s back yard.
Fighting on home soil for the first time in more than ten years, Martinez is revered in Argentina, having recently beaten free-scoring striker Lionel Messi to the title of his country’s greatest athlete.
And it is clear already that the Argentina v England theme will be more than a mild undercurrent in the four-month build up to this bout – with both fighters donning their respective national teams’ football shirts at the end of last week’s press conference.
But accompanied by promoter Ricky Hatton, Murray looked comfortable fielding questions from the Argentine press before vowing “to do the job” at Atletico Velez Sarsfield football stadium on April 27.
Although the unbeaten fighter from Fingerpost was careful to pay the 37-year-old king of the 11st 6 division his due respect – he promised to give Martinez his toughest fight in two years.
Murray said: “Sergio Martinez is a quality fighter, who deserves to be where he is today and I respect him.
“The last few years I have grown up watching Martinez. He’s a modern day legend and rightly so, but I am a hungry fighter, I’m young and undefeated and coming here to win.
“We are going to be coming over as a team, were going to give it our all and are not coming here to lose.
“We know we can come over here and do the job.”
The Argentine southpaw comes into the fight after regaining his title from the previously unbeaten WBC Champion Julio Chavez Jr in Las Vegas.
Martinez has also seen off the two other leading British middleweights Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker in his two fights prior to that, but Murray told the conference that he is made of sterner stuff.
He said: “Sergio is a far more experienced fighter than me – he has fought everybody and this is a massive fight for me. I know I am the underdog in this fight but nonetheless I’ll be coming here to win.
“I personally believe that I am the toughest fight he’s had since Kelly Pavlik more than two years ago.
“I am better than Barker and Macklin and know I can go one better than those two and win.
“I have a superb team and a great trainer. Oliver (Harrison) is world class in his field and I know come the fight we will have the right tactics to beat Martinez.”
The 30-year-old, who is having his second crack at a world title after drawing with then champ Felix Sturm in Germany last December, in on a six-day trip to South America to promote the bout.
Although most of the press conference questions were understandably directed towards the homecoming hero, Murray looked at home addressing the assembly.
There was only one leftfield question that appeared to initially stump the 30-year-old Saints fan - regarding the qualities of Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles and George Best.
After initially laughing, Murray added: “Well regarding football, I have not got a clue to be honest with you.”
For a brief second it looked as though Murray was going to spell out that the team he follows is the Saints, not Manchester United - but instead he reverted back to talking about the fight.
No doubt the red vee will get an airing in Buenos Aires, where the club hosting the fight sport a kit identical to Saints - but with a blue vee.