UNDOUBTEDLY Martin Murray will be regarded as the underdog when he takes on Sergio Martinez in Argentina in April, but the former Wigan ABC star has roundly dismissed talk that he’s got no hope at all, writes Simon Smedley.
Thirty-year-old former British, Commonwealth and current WBA interim champ Murray has been pretty much written off already across the Atlantic ahead of his meeting with probably the best pound-for-pound middleweight on the planet when Martinez’s WBC title will be on the line.
The Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield venue near Buenos Aires will stage the big fight on Saturday, April 27, but already American and South American boxing fans – largely out of sheer ignorance – have posted on messageboards that Murray has ‘no chance’, that the fight is ‘a mismatch’ and that it is also merely a ‘keep-busy’ fight for Martinez.
That kind of talk doesn’t concern unbeaten Murray though.
He said: “I’ve read some of the comments on various websites and I just take no notice of them at all.
“Some people like to have their two pence’s worth and give it the old chat, but most of them haven’t got a clue.
“They sit there typing away at their screen and they don’t know anything like the full story.
“They’re the kind of people that are right up your backside when they see you, but as soon as your back’s turned they start the sniping.
“All of that kind of stuff makes no odds to me.
“In fact I’m determined to use that kind of stuff as part of my inspiration.
“Comments like that spur me on and in the end I’ll just use them as a positive as the build-up to the fight intensifies.”
Cheap talk is certainly not something Murray is expecting to come from the lips of his opponent ahead of the big fight.
Murray – who was in Argentina last week on promotional duty ahead of undoubtedly his ultimate test in April – added: “Martinez is totally professional and totally respected within boxing.
“There won’t be any trash talking coming out of his mouth.
“He knows I won’t be going over there to take a dive and he knows it’s not just about a big pay-day for me.
“We’ll be complimentary about one another but once fight night does come around I know I’ve got what it takes to win the title.”
So far Murray has won 25 of his 26 professional fights since joining the paid ranks in 2007.
He famously drew in the one draw on his record, just over 12 months ago when he came agonisingly close to beating then WBA World champ Felix Sturm in the title-holder’s back yard of Mannheim, Germany.
Martinez – nicknamed ‘Maravilla’ and now aged 37 – has won 50, drawn two and lost two of his 54 fights.
In October, 2011, he knocked out Londoner Darren Barker and then stopped another of Murray’s huge domestic rivals – Matthew Macklin – in New York last March.