ST HELENS boxer Martin Murray is preparing to drop back down to middleweight after enduring a disappointing 2016.

The Fingerpost fighter stepped up to super middleweight in 2015 shortly after losing to Gennady Golovkin – his third crack at a world title.

And he was unlucky not to take Arthur Abraham’s WBO super middleweight crown off him at the end of that year, losing a split decision.

But last year did not happen for him at the division, losing a high-profile fight against George Groves and then ending with a disappointing mismatch with Nuhu Lawal in Monte Carlo after high-profile opponents Abraham and Dmitry Chudinov withdrew close to fight night.

He is hoping to have another crack at the 160lb division – although it is not an irreversible decision should it not go well.

Murray said: “ I can mix it with the boys at super middleweight, and even though Gennady Golovkin has got everything tied up at middleweight I am just going to venture back down and give it a try.

“If I get down there and don’t perform and don’t feel good then I know I will have to stay in super middleweight.”

There were times last year when the 33-year-old found the going tough – and even when he turned the corner he was dealt a body blow with his last big fight not materialising.

He explained: “My motivation after I fought George Groves was at all-time low.

“Picking myself up after that and getting back going killed me. I really struggled.

“It was hurting me going to training – for the first time I felt like putting my coat on half way through a session and going home.

“I managed to turn the corner – and was buzzing with the Arthur Abraham fight and then when that was scuppered, the Chudinov one also excited me. I thought it would be a proper fight, which is what I wanted.

“But when he pulled two days before the weigh-in and replaced with Lawal – even though he was undefeated – I knew I was above him. If anything afterwards I felt like I had had a fight with the referee not Nawal.

“I let the ref get in my head, which I had never let happen before and it became a nightmare fight.”

It was not great, but Murray rarely lets things get on top of him and has simply used the criticism that followed as more motivation.

“The year was not good for me – I had a lot of people slating me.

“But that is motivation for me, because for every brick that someone throws at me I am just building a foundation with it.

“That gives me more motivation to get back in the gym and inspire me to prove people wrong.”

“I am far from done in boxing. It is not like I am flagging in training – and if I was I would be the first one to say it.

“I have got a book coming out soon and what people will read is stuff people don’t know about me. And when people read that they will realise that the position I was in in my life before I started professional boxing, I have already won in life.

“From a boxing point of view – last year may have been a terrible year, but it gives me the opportunity to make this year better and put it behind me.”

Of course dropping down to 160 would put him back in the same division as Golovkin, and although he said he would fight him again, it was not necessarily one he is targeting.

“It is not going to be easy making the weight, but I don’t think there is any middleweight out there apart from Golovkin who beats me.

“After being in with the guys I have fought you see that Golovkin is on a different level and I don’t think anyone will beat him, but I will have another blast.

“It was the toughest fight of my life but I am prepared to go there again because I am a fighter,” he said.