When ThaBoxingVoice caught up with middleweight, Martin Murray back in July he was a frustrated man; a rematch with Felix Sturm was unobtainable, Matthew Macklin had rejected a domestic showdown and a shot at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s WBC belt had fallen by the way side due to visa complications. Now the 29-year-old reflects back on that time with the level of honesty that he has become associated with; combined with renewed optimism for the future.
“Earlier on in the year when that Chavez fight fell through I had a bad couple of months. I was just disappointed and frustrated, thinking things weren’t going to happen for me. I’m past all that now, there’s no one works harder than me I’m always in the gym improving. I know eventually I’m going to get there.”
The St. Helens fighter has a lot to be optimistic about; he was in Germany to witness the dethroning of former WBA super champion Sturm at the hands of Daniel Geale. The German had repeatedly knocked back Murray’s camp’s requests of an opportunity to avenge the controversial draw between the pair in December of last year. With strap now around the waist of the Australian the odds of him getting a second crack at a world title have greatly increased.
“I was happy for him (Geale) for two reasons; one: he deserved to win and two: before hand we were speaking to Sturm’s people about a rematch and they said there wasn’t going to be one. Geale won, like I said he deserved to win, there is a chance I could get a fight with him possibly down the line,” confessed Murray
A fight against Geale in the future seams increasingly likely as Murray will next be in action on the 24th of November as part of the undercard for Ricky Hatton’s comeback with the interim WBA belt up for grabs. That is the sort of big night with an electric atmosphere Murray thrives under, as he proved against Sturm, and is expectantly anticipating.
“I used to go to all of Ricky’s fights and I used to think what it would be like to fight on a bill like this, now I know. It’s a great feeling, the atmosphere will be amazing and I’m just looking forward to getting in there.”
As of yet no opponent is confirmed, once again Murray appears to be cursed when it comes to securing fights. Frenchman Julien Marie Sainte had originally been scheduled to challenge for the vacant strap until the EBU mandated that the pair meet for the European title. The St. Helens man explains how negotiations broke down. “He (Sainte) was like “I’m not bothered about the interim, just come over to France and fight me for the European. Had I had nothing on I’d gladly have gone over there and fought him but the WBA have been good to me and the interim will get me higher up the rankings than the European.”
The Frenchman isn’t the only fighter to have rejected the fight. Hatton Promotions have strived to find a suitable opponent yet almost every ranked contender has turned down the opportunity, perhaps deeming Murray high risk, low reward. “It got offered to (Darren) Barker and (Mathew) Macklin, the both knocked it back. We asked for Craig McEwan and Andy Lee, the WBA knocked both of them back. Navarro knocked it back, Sebastian Zbik knocked it back, Julien Marie Sainte knocked it back,” a frustrated Murray proclaimed
However there is one man in the frame:
“There is only one man who has accepted it for the time being, Robbie Bryant is his name. We’ve asked everyone else in the top ten but he is the only one to have accepted it.” Murray recently vacated his British title and while it’s not uncommon for fighters to give up titles as they progress onto world level, the 29-year-old has admirable reasons for doing so.
“I remember a couple of years ago when I was after the British and commonwealth, (Darren) Darker had them and he never did out with them, never defended them. There’s no point me holding onto it, I’m not going to get the fights I want a British level. It gives another two up-and-coming lads the chance to fight for it”