WORLD title contender Martin Murray knows he has a massive new year ahead of him with the fight of his life in April preceded a month a earlier by the birth of his third child.
Switched on by a whirlwind press tour of Argentina, where he came face to face with opponent Sergio Martinez for the first time, and refreshed from Christmas with his family, the unbeaten 30-year-old middleweight this week began his intensive preparations at the gym.
Although buzzing from the experience and attention his bout against boxing legend Martinez is receiving in South America, Murray knows that the road to the white hot cauldron of Buenos Aires starts with more than a few early cold January mornings in south Lancashire.
Murray began his training this week – and although his schedule will largely be the same as his previous opponents the motivation and prize at the end of it is so much bigger.
He said: “It is a big year for me in the ring and outside it. My wife Gemma is due to have our third child in March, then fight is in April so it is going to be a massive start to 2013.”
Although he always knew that Martinez was big in the world of boxing, Murray’s recent trip to Argentina, along with manager Neil Marsh and promoter Ricky Hatton, proved something of an eye-opener for the 30-year-old from Fingerpost.
“It was mad – but a great experience and we got treated really well.
“As soon as touched down we had a couple of hours and then it was straight into a press conference and then a series of television interviews.
“The day after we were again called for another series of big television interviews.
“Even an hour before we left for the airport we had another raft of interviews. The fight is getting massive coverage over there.”
Murray was pleased, however, to meet up with the 37-year-old Argentine legend.
“I knew the fight was big but when I saw how massive a superstar he is over in Argentina it was an eye-opener.
“Likewise, when I got back to the hotel room there was coverage of the fight on every channel you put on. It was mad.
“It is always good to see your opponent in the flesh – you can weigh them a little bit.
“It also makes it a little more real that it is happening.
“That said, you don’t really need to weigh Martinez up because everyone has seen what he can do. He is a top fighter,” he said.