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Martin Murray keeps focused on World title dream after frustrating six months
LAST spring the stock of St Helens middleweight Martin Murray was sky-high after he rocked WBC champion Sergio Martinez in his own Argentine back yard with only some harsh judging controversially denying him the belt.
But six months without a fight to build on that stunning performance has left the Fingerpost fighter feeling frustrated and annoyed.
Problems obtaining a visa for the USA have not helped his cause, but Murray has not been given the opportunities he has earned on the back of his challenge to Martinez and Felix Sturm before that.
Instead of being given the big fight he craves on home soil – or another juicy one against one of the champions – he is being sent 12,000 miles to defend his interim WBA belt against Australian bruiser Garth Wood.
And to add to Murray’s frustration, even that bout has been shrouded in uncertainty.
Murray said: “It was on, it was off and now they are saying it is back on.
“I am at that stage now where I don’t know what to believe.
“After Martinez, I was told I was fighting in September, then November and now December so I don’t know.”
Although he accepts that the bout against Wood is a “lose-lose” he is trying hard to channel his frustrations of the last six months into the gym.
He has to, for although Wood is well below the seventh-rated Murray in the world rankings, the big hitting Australian can be a dangerous beast.
“What has been happening is that I have been focused – then relaxing a bit – and then having to regain the focus. That is how I have been.
“I just have to keep my professional head on and be prepared for whatever comes up.
“It has been very frustrating though,” he said.
He has still to get a visa for Australia, but explained the visa for America is not going to happen until next year, which scuppered a lot of plans.
“I should not have to be relying on getting fights in America – I should be getting bouts over here which is what every other fighter seems to do.
“I was offered Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Mexico in August but I could not take that because I needed an operation on my elbow.
“Then they offered me Chavez again in September in Texas but then Chavez’s promoter knocked that back.
“What I needed after Martinez in April was a big homecoming fight a fight on home soil in front of the British boxing public.
“I could not have been any hotter after the Martinez fight and look what happened after that.”
He has raised the issue with his promoter, but the only fight he has been offered is the one against Garth Wood which he had to take or face being stripped of his title and consequently his ranking for future fights.
He did, however, reveal that a clash with IBO and WBA title holder Gennady Golovkin could be on the horizon.
The big-hitting Kazakh fighter is fighting American Curtis Stevens in the glamorous settings of Madison Square Gardens, New York in early November.
But aside from him, the other belt holders are avoiding him like the plague.
“The WBA have ordered me and Golovkin and I know he wants the fight but apart from him I have been given a wide berth by everyone else.
“But other opponents promoters seem to be giving me a wide berth since the Martinez fight.
“All I can do is crack on – and I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
“I hope that is the case because it has never been as bad as this.”
Frustrated as he is with what has gone on, Murray still has a dream of becoming the world champion and refuses to let the setbacks he has faced again over the summer derail him.
“I just have to put in a good performance and win and then who knows.
“How I am feeling at the minute I am just not enjoying boxing at all, but I want to be world champion.
“I don’t want to go from drawing with champion Sturm and then another dodgy decision against Martinez to nothing.
“I don’t want to stop until I am world champion so until I realise that is not going to happen then I will crack on,” said Murray.
As for the fight itself, there is plenty of you tube footage showing the style of the abrasive Australian.
Murray knows it won’t be pretty, but wants to go over to Sydney and get the job done as efficiently as possible.
“The fight is lose-lose for me.
“If I win, then I should have done – even if I win and looked good.
“Wood is quite an awkward, dirty fighter and he does tend to make it messy for people he has fought in the past.
“I am expecting a rough brawl but I have got to get in there and let the class take over,” he said.
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