Murray closing in on World title shot

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MARTIN Murray is closing in on a second World title tilt after comprehensively seeing off French champion Karim Achour on Saturday night at the Manchester Velodrome.

Former Wigan ABC star Murray, in his first outing since dramatically drawing his WBA World Super middleweight title fight with Felix Sturm in Germany in December, was awarded a 98 points to 93 success by referee Steve Gray after being on top almost throughout the ten rounds.

Solid body and head shots, couple with some crunching combinations, meant Achour – who boasted a record of just two defeats in 17 pro fights going into the weekend – struggled to keep up with British and Commonwealth champ Murray so it was something of a surprise that the margin of victory was as slim as it was.

Now Murray is hoping that another World title shot can be signed, sealed and delivered while he takes a well-deserved family break in sunny Spain.

Certainly Hatton Promotions chief Ricky Hatton seems to think Murray will get his wish, as he has promised a ‘big announcement’ within the next couple of weeks. He said: “I can’t fault Martin one bit, so far he has answered all the questions asked of him inside and outside the ring.

“In my opinion he is the best middleweight in the country at the moment.

“We’ve tried to secure the big domestic fights for Martin, but unfortunately Darren Barker was injured and then Matthew Macklin priced himself out of what would have been a great showdown.

“But during the course of the next few weeks we’ll have some really big news for Martin.

“He has shown his focus and dedication to the sport time and time again, so good things will definitely happen for him before very long.”

Murray added: “Hopefully it’s going to be another big, big fight me next time out. It sounds that way anyway.

“Nothing’s agreed 100 per cent yet, but if what we’re all after does come off, it’ll be a great event.

“It would be nice to get something over here because of the whole home advantage scenario, so I would prefer a shot on home soil, but whatever happens I’ll be super confident.

“I know I’ve got everything it takes to become a World champion.”