Martin Murray believes it will be a case of fifth time lucky when he challenges WBO super-middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Friday night.
Murray (39-5-1, 17 KOs) was unfortunate not to win previous world title tilts against Felix Sturm (D12) and Sergio Martinez (L12), having lost two other attempts against a peak Gennady Golovkin (LTKO11) and the canny Arthur Abraham (L12).
The St. Helens stalwart was supposed to meet Saunders twice previously in 2018, but both bouts fell through – now he is ready to settle some unfinished business.
“It’s a difficult fight, like all my big fights,” said Murray. “Billy Joe offers me something different. He’s kind of like Sergio Martinez, obviously younger and slicker. I’ve been training for it. I’m ready for it. I’m confident. All the little setbacks I’ve had in the past have been building to this. I feel like it’s my time.
“There was no bad blood really between me and Billy to be honest, it was just a lot of frustration after he pulled out twice. That got left where it was, but we’ve definitely got some unfinished business. I’m expecting a hard fight and Billy Joe to be at his best, so I’ll be ready.
“He’s not fought the opposition I’ve had. If I’d had fought the people he’s fought, I’d have a world title. I’ve done it the hard way,” continued Murray.
“It would be nice to finish the year on a high, and for my career I’ve worked for a world title and I’ve been in some lonely places. I’d never have believed it but here we are.
“I had an unhealthy obsession with winning a world title. No one has won one from St. Helens. Now I am a lot more relaxed about the situation. On Friday, I really do feel it’s my time.”
Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom.