Arena stage is set for Murray

Martin Murray
Martin Murray
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BRITISH middleweight champion and World title contender Martin Murray is buzzing after being pencilled in for a chief supporting slot to Ricky Hatton’s much-hyped return at the Manchester Arena on November 24.

Former Wigan ABC ace Murray is relishing the prospect of parading his talents in front of a packed house and worldwide tv audience in Manchester, but landing the chief support slot on the Hatton bill does depend on whether a suitable, high enough profile opponent can be found for the former WBA World title challenger.

Murray said: “I can’t wait for the Arena show now. It should secure more exposure than I’ve ever enjoyed before, even when I went to Germany to for the Felix Sturm World title fight.

“I’d never lose focus no matter where I was fighting, but being promised a slot on a massive show like this does give you a little bit of an extra drive I suppose.

“I’m told almost 12,000 tickets were sold last weekend so demand to see Ricky return to the ring has been immense.

“I can understand that because he is so popular still.

“I’m just hoping that a decent opponent can be found in time and maybe a WBA interim title fight can be secured.

“If that’s not the case and a slot a bit lower down the bill is in order, then so be it – whatever happens I’ll be fully prepared, fully focused on the job and confident.”

Domestic rivals Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin have both already been ruled out as potential opponents for November’s show, as has Irish born American star Andy Lee.

Newly-unified WBA and IBF champion Daniel Geale remains a possibility, however, after he dethroned Sturm in Germany recently.

Murray added: “I spoke to Daniel Geale at the post-fight press conference in Germany and told him that I’m available to fight him either in England or in Australia.

“He said we’ll definitely be able to sit down and talk.

“To be honest, his team seemed more keen for him to come over here because I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves in Australia and he’s proven that he travels well.”