ST HELENS fighter Martin Murray warmed up for next month's WBA world title eliminator against George Groves by emphatically dispatching his over-matched Belgian opponent Cedric Spera.

Having not fought since November's world title defeat by Arthur Abraham Murray needed a 'tool sharpener' ahead of June's showdown at the O2 - but it was job done by 1.47 of round two.

Murray showed no mercy against an opponent who physically looked out of his depth as soon as he stepped on to the canvas - and if anything the four-time world title challenger looked too keen to start with.

The 33-year-old from Fingerpost seemed so eager to get the underdog out of the way that he threw plenty in the direction of the Belgian in the opening round, including a couple of low ones.

After being instructed by his trainer Oliver Harrison to pick his targets after round one, Murray obliged and subsequently floored Spera with a punishing left hook under the rib cage.

Although Spera spat his gum shield and bought himself a few more seconds to recover his breath, resistance was futile.

And approaching the second minute, with Spera on the ropes, a right, left, right combination left home with the canvas as the only option.

Although Spera gamely regained his feet the referee deemed him to be in no position to continue.

After the fight Murray put the performance into context.

He said: "I go from fighting world champions in their own backyard, to, no disrespect, to fighting people levels below me.

"I needed that bit of a blow out as I've been training too long and it has put me in good stead."

There appears to be a real hunger in Murray's approach building up to what will be a massive battle of Britain and a probable last chance saloon for another World title shot.

"I've always wanted that big fight over in England and I've got it against a world class fighter in George Groves.

"I want it more than ever.

I want these big fights. I've got a great team behind me and family support and with the right backing I know I can become world champion and my sights are still set on that.

"It will take a lot to stop me but I'll have to raise my game."