World middleweight title challenger Martin Murray has heard all about the reputation of Gennady Golovkin, his next opponent, and respects the fact he’s widely considered the hardest puncher in all of boxing right now. But that doesn’t mean the Briton is overawed or fearful of the imposing Kazakh.
In fact, rather than hide from the reality of the situation, Murray has instead confronted it head on and says he’s looking forward to sampling Golovkin’s power when the pair clash on Saturday (February 21) in Monte Carlo.
“I’ve been watching all his best bits,” said Murray, 29-1-1 (12 KOs). “I’ve not been looking at all the things he does wrong. Let’s be honest, he doesn’t do a lot wrong. What I’ve been focusing on are all the things he does well. I’ve been watching him at his absolute best. That then makes me more prepared, more nervous and more on my guard.
“His power is obviously something you have to look out for. He clearly hits hard. His general ring craft is very good as well. He’s very good at putting you in places he wants to put you.
“I think he does all things very well. He’s not just a big puncher – he seems to have the lot. But we’ve seen a couple of chinks in his armour, and we feel there’s some stuff for us to work on during the fight. We’re confident it’s going to work. I’m looking forward to going in there on Saturday and trying them out.
“It doesn’t bother me that Golovkin hits hard. Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer it if he hit a bit softer, but it doesn’t faze me knowing that I’m going to go in there with someone who knocks everybody out. I know he hits hard, I know it’s going to be a tough fight, and I know I might get hurt. I’m ready and prepared for it, though.”
Murray is renowned for his ability to raise his game when necessary. A perennial underdog, the St. Helens man, was desperately unlucky in his previous two world title fights, drawing with Felix Sturm in 2011 and then losing a controversial decision to Sergio Martinez in 2013. This time, however, he’s determined to make it third time lucky.
“This feels like the biggest fight of my career,” said the 32-year-old. “I’ve kind of been detached lately due to being based in South Africa, but now I’m in Monte Carlo, and I can sense how big the fight is. This is it for me. There’s more riding on this fight than any other I’ve had, and I’m more determined and confident of winning this one than I was before the others.
“In fact, of all my world title fights, this is the one I’m most looking forward to. It feels like my biggest challenge, and it will be my toughest fight, but I’ve got confidence in my ability and know that in these situations I rise to the occasion and put on my best performances.
“I’m expecting a long, hard fight and I’m expecting to have to go through a lot of pain. But, no matter what it takes, and no matter what I have to go through, my hand is going to get raised at the end of that fight. I know this is a proper battle, and I know it will have to be a war. I’m ready for it. I honestly can’t wait.”