MARTIN MURRAY challenges Arthur Abraham for the WBO super-middleweight title tomorrow in Hannover, live on Sky Sports – seven years after he claimed the Prizefighter Middleweight’s trophy.
Murray’s success that night came at York Hall in Bethnal Green, a far cry from the luxurious surroundings of the TUI Arena that will play host to his fourth World title shot against ‘King Arthur’.
But the St Helens star says much of his success in the ring can be traced back to November 22, 2008, where he beat Joe Rea and Danny Butler before edging out Cello Renda in a bruising final in east London.
“I was 9-0 and not at all well-known going into that night,” said Murray. “I boxed well and then the final against Cello was a classic, and from that night onwards my profile grew with it being live on Sky Sports.
“I’ve got great and fond memories of that night – especially the money! It did me the world of good and it’s mad to think that since then I’ve had three World title fights and I’m ready for my fourth.
“I’ve poured every ounce into the camp for this one and I sound like a broken record, but this feels like the right time for me and crucially, the right weight for me.”
The super-middleweight division remains one of the most attractive on the world stage and Britain is enjoying a purple-patch for talent right now. James DeGale defends his IBF crown in Canada next weekend while Callum Smith and George Groves are massive fights out there in 2016. Murray admits that those fights appeal to him, but he has to get the crown first, and failure to do so could even see him consider his future.
“James has mentioned the fight but he cannot look past Bute and I cannot look past Abraham,” said Murray. “I know I can win this and if I do, there are big fights out there for me, if I don’t though, it could spell the end of my career – just because I really feel that this is my chance to finally get my hands on a World title.
“I would have to weigh things up if I don’t get the decision, so a lot rests on what happens tomorrow. I am not ready to retire, I think I am only just getting into my prime, so that is another motivation to get the win. This is the fourth one and the most confident I am of winning. I would be more gutted to not win this one than the others. I really feel that I am going to win and I have banked on that.”
Meanwhile, both boxers made the 168lb division limit in Hannover. Abraham was bang on weight at 168lbs, while the St Helens man was lighter at 166 1/4lbs.