|“Murray is like a caged lion he can’t wait to be unleashed” Joe Gallagher
Photo By: Al Stevenson
Manchester’s John Murray makes the fourth defence of his British lightweight title, whilst challenging for the vacant European lightweight belt against Newport’s Gary Buckland at the Kingsway Leisure centre in Widnes.
Murray 28-0 (16 KO’s) has been out of the ring since his win over John Thaxton in October last year. His inactivity was down to the fact that firstly Anthony Mezaache relinquished the belt and then Andrei Kudriavtsev pulled out of there proposed fight for the vacant belt at the last minute, when negotiations for the fight broke down.
So Welshman Gary Buckland 18-1 (6 KO’s) has stepped in with late notice to make the vacant title fight an all British affair, and is ready to give Murray a few surprises.
“This is the culmination of three years hard work,” added Buckland, bidding to be Newport’s first European champion since Dick Richardson in 1962.
“It is a really important fight for me. It’s not only for the European title, but for the Lonsdale belt as well, once I have won on Friday night the next step will be a world title shot “said Murray.
“I am aiming to win in style and well within the distance” a focused Murray added.
|Champion Murray under the gaze of trainer and mentor Joe Gallager
Photo By: Al Stevenson
Murray previously lost his British title on the scales against Scott Lawton, he won the fight with Lawton, before going on to regain it defeating Thaxton last time out. Although a miss judgement in weight by Murray was thought to have lost him the title, team Murray insist there own scales had been spot on, which is understandable, Murray usually makes the weight fine.
JG. “Yeah the weights not a problem, as you could see on the scales he is in good shape with just three weeks notice, John apart from blip against Lawton with the scales, he has never had trouble making weight.”
BB. What kind of shape is he in mentally and physically?
JG. “John is very focused, he is like a caged lion he can’t wait to be unleashed, he has got some frustration to get out and he is excited and buzzing to be fighting again.”
BB. What problems does Buckland pose?
JG. “I disagree with the bookies odds, Gary is an highly ambitious fighter with a good team behind him, Tony Borg is a good coach and will have a good game plan in place for Gary, and I see him causing us problems in the fight. He is an active fighter on a winning run, against good kids and he has nothing to lose and everything to gain, and it’s them opponents that are dangerous, he has a good right hook uppercut and is sharp on counter it will be a good fight.”
JG. “Hopefully, John will have to defend within 90 days which is good news so we see from there but yes, three more fights this year is the aim.”
BB. With Mitchell and Khan fighting next week are any of them in your sights or will you take a different route?
JG. “Amir Khan is light welter so no point talking about him, I wish him well in USA. The winner of Kevin v Kastidis is what we are looking at, and if Kevin pulls it off, it would be great domestic showdown, if not then there is another Britt to halt the Aussie’s charge and John Murray v Michael Kastidis is a great fight, and with both ranked in the Ring magazine top 10 the fight can be made.”
BB. Can you ever see John Murray, Amir Khan and Kevin Mitchell ever fighting each other and bringing back the days of the Watson, Benn, Eubank type fight era?
JG. “It would be great to think so but Amir is now in a different weight division, I think Amir would only fight Murray or Mitchell if he gets derailed in the USA, he would come back and want to get in the mix especially if Kevin and John were having a fight, he would be envious that he never had his best of British showdown.
JG. “Not at this present moment in time, he makes the lightweight limit comfortable and we want a world title at lightweight first, if an opportunity arose to fight at a higher weight which made sense for titles, then yeah has a one off, Marquez Diaz every one is at it, so it depends on opponent’s as well.