MARTIN MURRAY looks forward to finally testing himself against a stellar domestic rival when he takes on George Groves at the O2 Arena in London on June 25.
The pair will meet at super-middleweight in the co-feature of Anthony Joshua’s IBF world heavyweight title defence against Dominic Breazeale.
A former three-time middleweight world title challenger, Murray was unable to secure fights with the likes of Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin while at 160lbs, so is relishing his meeting with Groves.
“It’s as big as they come domestically. I’ve never had any [big] domestic fights. I know Groves had the [Carl] Froch fights, which he’ll never top, but for me it’s as big as it gets domestically,” he told Boxing News.
“It’s big not just because of it being a domestic fight but also because of what’s on the line, the winner goes on to bigger and better things, another world title shot. The loser doesn’t, they have to work their way up again, if they ever get that chance again.”
Murray, in his last outing, dropped a split decision to then-WBO world super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, while Groves has lost three chances at 168lb world honours, the most recent against WBC king Badou Jack last September.
Matchroom Boxing – who promote the card – have billed it as an eliminator for the WBA title (something Murray wasn’t aware of), though the WBA are yet to confirm this. Indeed, neither fighter is ranked in their top 15, according to the latest ratings.
Regardless, it’s a terrific UK fight which will surely grant the winner a decent world ranking.
“It’s a risky fight for us both but that’s what makes it so appealing,” Murray continued.
“It’s a fight I’m confident of winning – as is Groves, that’s why he’s taken it. It could top a bill itself. People watching at home and there on the night are in for a great fight and a great night of boxing.
“I rate Groves. I’ve always rated him. When I was at middleweight, I never thought of fighting him until I moved up. He’s got a world class jab, one of the best jabs in the business, a good right hand, he’s got power. But I go into every fight to win and this one’s no different.”
Defeat could spell the end of world title ambitions for either man, though Murray remains confident that, win, lose, or draw, his career aspirations will not be over.
“I’ve always wanted the big fights, that’s why I’ve travelled the world taking on various world champions,” he said of his travels to countries like Germany and Argentina.
“It’s a must win for me if I want to keep boxing. I’m not ready for retirement, and I want that world title.
“I know there’s so much more in me to give. I’m always improving. If the worst were to happen and I did lose, I wouldn’t say it’s my last chance. But I’m going into it like it’s the be all and end all.”