MARTIN Murray will face French middleweight champion Karim Achour next month, it has been announced.
They will meet on Hatton Promotions ‘Road To Glory’ bill at the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday, June 16.
The bill is one of the biggest being staged in the UK this year and includes the vacant WBA interim world super-bantamweight title fight between Bury’s Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe.
Unbeaten British champion Murray drew against WBA super champion Felix Sturm last year and is patiently waiting for another world title challenge.
But 25-year-old Achour, who has won 13 of his 15 fights, will provide stern opposition for former Wigan ABC ace Murray, who is ranked in the top five by the WBA, WBC and WBO.
Hatton Promotions’ CEO Ricky Hatton said: “Martin is being patient, but I am certain we will deliver another major fight later this year.
“In the meantime it is all about keeping him busy and winning against decent opposition.
“Since the Sturm fight a match against WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr fell through, but he got over that by getting straight back into the gym.
“Achour is a decent test for Martin in his first fight since Sturm, but I am predicting a big performance that will prove he’s Britain’s number one middleweight.”
Meanwhile, Murray is the latest from the boxing world to voice his opinion on the proposed, much-hyped fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora in July, with the two British-banned heavyweights set to meet in London following their much-publicised set-to at a press conference in February in Munich.
“First of all they shouldn’t have been allowed so close to one another at the press conference because it was always going to kick off in some fashion,” said Murray.
“Now the Luxembourg council have got involved and given this fight the okay to take place in London and instead of people not giving them the time of day, they’ve ended getting maximum exposure and tickets are flying out.
“The British Boxing Board of Control should have had the final say and that’s that. It doesn’t make sense to me for a foreign board to back a fight over here – it’s just wrong.
“It’s more or less unlicensed boxing and it’s not something I would ever like to get involved with. This sport has been too good to me.”