Martin Murray will take on fellow world middleweight contender Garth Wood on December 11th, in defence of his Interim WBA title at the Entertainment Centre in Sydney, Australia as he attempts a third assault on a world title shot.
“My next fight is confirmed for December 11th in Sydney against Garth Wood,” Murray, 31, announced on Twitter. “He’s a tough opponent who’ll be up for it so I’ll be on my game.
“Although I have been training, the 10 week training camp starts Monday. I’ll be treating this fight like any other. This fight is as important as any I have had.”
A statement on Murray’s personal website later read:
“Many had linked a fight with Martin Murray and WBA holder Gennady Golovkin, however there are still ongoing Visa problems preventing Martin from fighting in the US for now.
The general consensus is that this is a fight to keep Murray busy until another high profile matchup can be made, but Wood is an awkward fighter that can be difficult to look good against and has a KO against fellow Aussie Anthony Mundine. He is currently the WBA Pan African champion which gave him a sufficient ranking to challenge Murray, and will definitely be bringing his A-game to try and cause an upset on the night.
A win for Murray (25-1-1, 11KO) provides a number of options for future opponents, with the most likely being a title fight against domestic rival Darren Barker if he gets through a tough defence against Felix Sturm. However as Murray and Macklin know this is not an easy to task, especially as he is making the mandatory defence in Germany. If his Visa gets sorted, then opportunities in the US such as Chavez Jr and Golovkin are back on the cards for 2014.”
The fight for Murray will come eight months after his last appearance, against middleweight number one Sergio Martinez in the champion’s home of Argentina. Murray dropped Martinez twice in a spirited challenge and many felt he had done enough to take the title, but lost a narrow points loss with the home fighter and champion getting the nod.
Wood (12-3-1, 8KO) is well known after his time on reality TV show The Contender series in Australia. He then went onto score a major upset when knocking out countryman Anthony Mundine. Mundine won a rematch taking a unanimous decision. Wood has since lost a wide decision to Sam Soliman, but will go into his fight with Murray on the back of two wins.
It is believed the winner will be lined up to face the dangerous unbeaten middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin, providing Golovkin gets past American challenger Curtis Stevens in New York on November 2nd.