7th October 2011
Murray, 26, lost his last fight against Londoner Kevin Mitchell and with it his unbeaten record and so this shot at the world title against Rios has come out of the blue and is a surprise considering the former British and European champion is coming off a defeat.
So why isn’t Mitchell getting this chance? – Well it seems that he was offered the date and the opportunity his triumph over Murray deserved, but because Mitchell is waiting on an impending court case, it is believed he has been denied the right to travel to the United States this year and so Murray who he stopped in eight rounds in July benefits.
Murray (31-1, 18 KOs) who recently split with long term trainer Joe Gallagher to team up with Leeds coach Mike Marsden, can resurrect his career, but will be up against it when he takes on Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs) who is considered one of the most exciting fighters in the world. But it is the fight Murray had always wanted and the one he was chasing before losing to Mitchell.
Rios is ranked No.1 in the lightweight division and has won his last 9 fights by knockout. The only blemish on his impressive resume is a 10-round draw against Manuel Perez in October of 2008.
This fight for Murray though could well bring out the best in him – and could it be? – That from the depth of despair and with his career in limbo after his first career loss and then public split with his coach. That Johnny could come good and become an unlikely world champion and fulfill the promise that he had shown before coming undone against Mitchell.
What this would mean is that Mitchell and Murray would then meet in a rematch for the world titlein a mega British fight next Summer. But lets not jump the gun! – ‘Bam Bam’ is going to be a Hugh obstacle to budge, he is similar in stature to Murray and fights in the same come forward heart on the sleeve, warrior style as the Mancunian.
But Murray must be totally focused in his preparations and live the life for the 8 week training camp he will embark on. It is now no secret that Mr Murray likes the odd light ale or two!
This fight with Rios will determine how much Mitchell took out of Murray, but also how much Murray has taken from himself! – But you don’t become a bad fighter over night and still only 26, Murray has the chance to bottle everything he has ever known and I don’t mean on a night out! – and realise them dreams that were clear to him when he embarked on his professional career in September 2003 against Peter Buckley at the Huddersfield leisure centre.
It seems Murray lost his way with boxing and became stagnant and little disillusioned with the game, the Mitchell KO and the un-friendly split with Gallagher proved that this wasn’t the same kid who used to bounce into arenas with an air of unbeatable swagger and lived up to his nickname of the ‘Machine’ methodically taking his opponents apart in old fashioned display of pugilistic well oiled dominance.
John must get back that winning mentality and passion to be the best! – Knowing that when he enters that ring at the famous Madison Square Garden, the spiritual home of boxing, that no stone has been left un-turned in training and preparation and that he could have done no more and never once contemplated doing any less, by cheating himself!
By Chris Maylett