ST HELENS fighter Martin Murray is keen to put his last fight with George Groves behind him when he heads out to Monte Carlo to face Nuhu Lawal for the WBA Continental Super Middleweight title on Saturday night.

Lawal holds the WBA Inter-Continental Middleweight crown having stopped Istvan Szili inside six rounds for the title in June, moving to 23-0 with the win and crashing into the WBA rankings at number 12.

The Nigerian-born German grabs a golden opportunity to claim the prize scalp of Murray after doctors ruled Dmitrii Chudinov out of the bout with a virus.

Still targeting another shot at the world super middleweight crown in 2017, Murray is still understandably disappointed that the rug was pulled from under him when the scheduled WBO eliminator against former champ Arthur Abraham fell through.

The German, who pulled out citing injury, has now been ordered to face Robin Krasniqi in the eliminator with the winner facing WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez.

Although this is a second change of opponent, he approaches the fight with a real sense of determination after failing to do himself justice in his last outing against Groves.

Murray lost that high-profile fight against the Londoner at a packed O2 Arena on a unanimous decision, but revealed how his plans for that bout were completely derailed.

He said: “The Groves fight was very disheartening for me.

“I had trained all year, straight through to the fight in June.

“I fought in May in a pointless fight, which looking back I should never have taken and had some time off instead. Or maybe I should have had a week off to let my body recover, but I never.

“Four weeks out from the Groves fight I had peaked and was flying in the gym, my sparring was spot on and everything was going well — then I got ill.

“I took anti-biotics, but carried on training and they did not work.

“Then 10 days out I still didn’t feel right so was on more anti-biotics and finished them a few days before but was still not right.

“I still fought but I just did not show up.

“It was disheartening for me to train so hard and then end up fighting like that after all the time and effort I had put into training.

“It hurt me — and motivation wise I really struggled after.

“I did look tired against Groves, I was flat.

“It was only my fitness, toughness, determination and will-to-win that got me through those 12 rounds.

“The first half of the fight I did nothing, but because I felt so weak I did not feel myself.

“The plan was to make him work in the first half, but could not do it.

“It could not have gone any worse for me.”

Murray talked about the highs and low points that affect boxers, particularly after fights.

And this can have an effect on motivation and getting back up for training.

He said: “There are a lot of highs and lows in boxing, particularly if you train so hard and don’t get the result you want.

“You have just not got to let the highs get you too high and lows get you too low.

“There are a lot of lows — and when you get beat you can get in quite a depressive state. People usually see you when you fight and when you win.

“A boxing career does not last forever, I know I have got a good career, whatever it may be, after boxing.

"This is just a job to me and a way of looking after my family and I am doing ok with it so I can’t grumble.”

Although not fighting Abraham denies him the opportunity of sorting out the unfinished business from last year’s world title defeat, he has to remain focused.

“I am still plugging away.

“I should have been World Champion but I have still not got it right yet in a fight.

“When I do, people will see what I can do and how far I can go to reach my true potential.

“I am still striving for that performance and have got a lot more left to come.

I am just ready for the next part of my career,” he said.

He still has the same coaching team but has added former European and British champion Jamie Moore to his set up.

“Jamie has joined the team and I have learned a lot from him since I first joined the gym in 2007 - he has always helped me.

“He is great for motivation and comes down every Wednesday. He is a great reader of the game and knows boxing and helps Oliver with tactics,” he said.

He also explained that he considered dropping back down to middleweight but the lack of the big fights there meant it was not worth it.

“My motivation was so low there is no way I could have started training and dieting for 11stone 6.

“We did try to make Chris Eubank Jnr but he and his team didn’t want it. There was no other fights there for me,” he said.