Photo by Mark Robinson/Hatton Promotions
Martin Murray may have never been given a fair hand in life. Things weren’t easy in the beginning—and often times, the most telling stories in boxing never are.
Despite having a good amateur career and a promising future, Murray indulged in vices. The same types of vices that have lead good men astray from the correct path.
Riddled with convictions and stints in prison–the last conviction coming seven years ago, a year after he was married and had his first child–the St. Helen’s native has found his feet on the right path in the past few years.
Murray has grown from a troubled youth to happily married and a father of three.
A two time world champion challenger, Murray has come up short both times on the world’s biggest stage.
A man with no fear of geographical importance, which is a commending trait now in days, Murray’s first title shot ended in a split-draw decision against Felix Sturm in Sturm’s home country of Germany.
Sturm retained his title, though most media outlets believed Murray won.
In his second attempt at a world title, Murray again flew to a foreign land and déjà-vu would rear its ugly head in the form of a majority-decision loss to Middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez, in his home country of Argentina in early 2013.
Despite dropping the champion in Round 8, Murray lost a somewhat controversial decision in a bout most said would have gone in the Brit’s favor in any other country.
Back in November, Round By Round Boxing ran an interview with current WBO Middleweight Champion, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin.
In the interview, Quillin was asked questions pertaining to the state of his division and what potential fights he would want and have tried to put together.
Here is an excerpt from that interview:
RBRBoxing: Who would you like to fight next, HBO/SHO Cold War in the picture, realistically who?
Quillin: Martin Murray, all the guys not tied into HBO. Martin Murray, Darren Barker, guys that aren’t tied to that specific network. I think it’s gonna happen, I just have to be patient and just keep going out there, doing me. Hopefully just stay busy come next year.
RBRBoxing: Would you be interested in fighting outside the U.S?
Quillin: We already offered that choice to Martin Murray. We definitely offered to go there and I’m more than willing to travel. If it’s a place to build my name and it’s good money over there, why not?
Of course, a Quillin vs. Murray fight would be great for the sport. A prime and genuine Middleweight contender colliding against a young and still hungry world champion; what more could a fan ask for?
Read on for what Martin Murray and Andrew Mikhail–Murray’s agent and advisor–had to say regarding Peter Quillin, Gennady Golovkin and more.
Round By Round Boxing: What can you say about the comments Peter Quillin made over the attempt to offer a fight to your man and even fight in the UK? Is there any truth to it at all?
Martin Murray: From all accounts, what Peter said is right. But I never had a clue and no offer was ever put to me. I only found out after the opportunity had passed when [Golden Boy CEO] Richard Schaefer made a press release saying that he tried to make the fight in the U.K., but Richard Poxon from Hatton Promotions was impossible to deal with!
He tried to make it apparently, but as everyone has heard Richard Schaefer’s interview, he sounded very frustrated and said he “couldn’t get any cooperation from Richard Poxon.”
RBRBoxing: Can you tell us about your upcoming fight and how do you see your schedule looking like for the rest of the year?
MM: We are working on things now and there should be a big announcement soon. Hopefully this year will be my year. I’m back in training now and in the next week or two I will start to use my hand again after my injury. I just can’t wait now.
Editor’s note: Murray sustained a hand injury that forced him to withdraw from a bout in Monaco as the co-main event of the Golovkin-Adama card.
RBRBoxing: What are your thoughts on the current boxing “cold-war”? Is it good business for you since essentially you are a free agent, network wise?
MM: Competition is always out there between the networks and somehow it always seems to come full circle. I’m absolutely sure after the next fight all the networks will be anxious to get involved with us. So yes, there is good business to be done.
Andrew Mikhail: Martin Murray was offered the GGG fight last year and was very happy to take it.
When he asked Richard Poxen of Hatton Promotions how much he would be getting he said he couldn’t tell him, and that is no joke!!
Who would take any fight without knowing what he was getting?
Martin’s reply was simple, if you can’t tell me what I am getting paid for one of the biggest fights in the world why would I take it?
The following is for every boxing fan in the world; if you don’t know by now, I’ll tell you again.
1. Martin Murray went to Germany and in many peoples opinion he beat Felix Sturm—now a four-time world champion.
Murray arrived on the world stage and delivered!
2. Martin Murray went to Argentina and fought the pound-for-pound best Middleweight in the world, Sergio Martinez, in front of 50,000 fans on the eve of the Falklands War in one of the most hostile atmospheres ever seen at a boxing contest.
50,000 spectators wanted to see him going out on a stretcher. They were spitting on him as he walked in, throwing coins at him and thousands making knife like gestures putting their fingers across their throats.
What did Martin Murray do?
Photo by Will Hart/HBO
Well, we all saw what he did. He wiped the spit off his face and went to work. He started a little slow trying to work Martinez out, then round-by-round he dominated Martinez, knocking him down twice.
Many experts consider Murray to have been robbed over there and unfortunately that is the sad part of boxing. No consolation to a boy who has trained his heart and soul out for years for that one piece of glory.
Martin has been in trouble with the law most of his youth, in-and-out of prison, but the boy is now a man and completely turned his life upside down for the better.
Now an ambassador and hero in his hometown of St. Helens and many local communities, helping less fortunate youths locally and also up-and-down the country who are on the same self-destructing path he was once on.
Martin is a great example and story and yet a further example for what a brilliant sport boxing is.
There are not many children of wealthy parents who have been world champions, but there are many world champions who have inspired wealthy parents’ children and given hope to some of the poorest most deprived children, which has given them the hope.
I just hope boxing—with the two controversial decisions Martin has suffered so far in his career—doesn’t steal the hope from Martin because attached to him is the hope of thousands of those children that he has reached out to and embraced.
This takes me back to the Gennady Golovkin question and a message to Tom Loeffler and his team.
I went to the show with Martin this past weekend to watch the fight. There’s no getting away from the fact that Gennady is a great fighter and technically brilliant in many departments.
Martin is also brilliant in many departments and no disrespect to Gennady’s previous opponents, but the fact is Gennady has never fought the same class of fighter Martin has, neither do I think he could beat Martin.
I think he has been built up superbly and managed, trained and promoted magnificently!
They have built a young Mike Tyson image around him that GGG now believes in his own mind. If you have the mental strength, with it comes confidence.
It’s simple, if we can all get the deal and money right this can be a “super fight” for 2014 and for the world of boxing.