British middleweight Martin Murray is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Carl Froch. The St Helens star battles Ukrainian Max Bursak in Monte Carlo, and is hoping to emulate the formidable Nottingham assassin.
Prior to Froch’s stardom on British shores he was often on the road as he looked to make his name by taking on the super-middleweights very best, a path which is becoming a familiar one for the 31-year-old Murray who has fought abroad in three of his last four fights.
“[Fighting outside of the UK] was Froch’s path and it’s looking like this is my path too. Everyone has their own path and I’m taking it as a positive, I’m flying all over the world and it’s a great pleasure doing something that I love,” said Murray.
“It’s my journey and I’m loving it but the idea would be to come home as a world champion, like Froch, and sell out venues and arenas – that would be great. However, I’m under no illusions that that is what’s going to happen.
“All I can do is keep working my hardest, get my hands on a world title and hope that does eventually happen. But sometimes people don’t get what they deserve so all I can do is keep working hard and hopefully things will work out the right way,” he said.
The sturdy 160-pounder looked like he may have claimed his first world title last year when he took on Argentine hero Sergio Martinez for his WBC middleweight crown.
However, despite knocking down Martinez and finishing strongly, the judges ruled in favour of the hometown man who kept his belt in front of a hostile Buenos Aires crowd.
Murray’s gallant display proved that he was more than a match for the world’s best middleweights, however, with his career expected to flourish, a split with Hatton Promotions saw him sidelined without a fight for seven frustrating months.
“I was buzzing in the gym and put the [Martinez] fight behind me and took it as a learning curve. I couldn’t wait to get back fighting and pushing on from there but seven months later it was horrendous,” Murray told BoxNation.
“I was buzzing right after [the Martinez fight] and kept myself motivated for months but eventually got frustrated with everything that went on, with the fights that were happening and then weren’t happening and all that stuff.
“By the time I fought in December I hadn’t recovered from a virus so I was still a bit run down. Towards the end I got fed up with things that happened. I’m a firm believer that if you work hard things will happen, that’s how I motivated myself.
“But they didn’t [happen] and I was a little bit sad and kind of lost the love for boxing coming off the high of the Martinez fight. I’ve got a great team around me now and just loving boxing at the minute and am looking forward to this fight,” he said.
Murray, who has accumulated a record of 27 wins with one loss and one draw – that being against the then WBA Super middleweight world champion Felix Sturm in 2011 in Germany – is convinced that he will eventually achieve his dream of becoming a world champion.
His fight with Bursak this Saturday night represents a stepping stone for him as he looks to put right two blemishes on his record that he believes were unwarranted.
“I don’t care what anyone says, the two losses on my record none of them were convincing. I’ve said the Sturm fight the decision was a draw but the Martinez fight I thought I won it,” he said.
“I’ve mixed it with two of the best middleweights over the past couple of years so I know I’m up there at the elite level and that I will eventually become a world champion and get my hands on the belt – I just need to keep working hard starting this weekend,” Murray said.