Ricky Hatton announces Martin Murray will be fighting for world title in February (From St Helens Star)
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Ricky Hatton announces Martin Murray will be fighting for world title in February
MARTIN Murray will be fighting for a world middleweight title for a third time in February.
His promoter Ricky Hatton revealed the date but not the opponent after watching Murray just do enough to see off veteran Sergey Khomitsky in London.
The details of who he will be fighting and which title will be confirmed in midweek, but a huge improvement on tonight’s showing will be expected.
It was something of an out of sorts performance from the 31-year-old from Fingerpost, particularly in the opening three rounds.
To be fair to Murray he was on a hiding to nothing. Having not fought for so long it probably did him a favour to get some rounds under his belt.
Maybe it proved once again that better the opponent the greater the response from Murray, but he never looked comfortable.
At times it looked like ring rust, with Murray not fighting since losing controversially to Sergio Martinez in April, combined with a virus picked up a couple of weeks ago were having an effect.
Given the calibre of fighter Murray has been in with since beating Khomitsky in Wigan four years ago, the performance was underwhelming.
A lacklustre opening two rounds, lacked spark and saw him catch the odd body shot to take the wind out of is sails and create a few worried looks.
Murray began turning it around in round three without really hitting his straps and a round later a couple of good right handers saw him begin to go through the gears much better.
He was much sharper and stronger, putting Khomitsky in his place but then he let the 39-year-old from Belarus off the hook.
Although he did enough in the last three of the eight rounds to get the points decision 77-75, it was far from vintage stuff.
In his post fight interview with Sky sports Murray said as much.
He said: “I was very flat, with nothing flowing at all. We had a good training camp until the virus and then I got things back on track.
“I was just flat today. Don’t get me wrong it was good to get eight rounds in and shake the cobwebs off for a big fight next year but it was a very disappointing performance.
“I am not going to blame anything on the virus or who I was fighting, but what I will say is coming from the fight I had last time and getting up for this type of fight it is quite hard.
“I did the same after Sturm – it just want the same. I was fit but the performance was flat.”
Maybe the bigger picture was the title fight in February. His promoter Ricky Hatton said: “We have got a big announcement to make this week and we have secured Martin a great opportunity – and I think it is going to be third time lucky.
“He has not fought for eight months and he had a virus a few weeks ago, but given what we have got lined up in February he has shook the cobwebs off and sharpened his tools up.
“He will be fighting for a world title.”
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