Martin Murray has love back
Martin Murray wants to end a frustrating year on a high when he faces fellow unbeaten prospect Jorge Navarro for the WBA interim middleweight crown on Saturday night.
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The St Helens fighter thrust himself into the world-title picture last December when he travelled to Germany as a heavy underdog and battled to a keenly-contested draw against then WBA ruler Felix Sturm.
Six months of untimely inactivity followed, during which period a proposed tilt at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's WBC belt in America fell through due to visa issues.
A low-key 10-round win over France's Karim Achour was not the tonic Murray needed, but he is eager to make up for lost time with a prime slot on the undercard of promoter Ricky Hatton's ring return at the Manchester Arena.
"I have a new-found love for boxing," the 30-year-old said ahead of chasing a 25th career victory.
"I fell out of love with the sport for a bit but I've got it back.
"After the Sturm fight I thought things would come for me but they didn't and then the Chavez fight fell through. I was feeling a bit fed up with boxing then.
"But it's just made me work even harder. Things are starting to happen now and it's well deserved for the work that I've been doing."
One intriguing match-up in the pipeline for Murray is a daunting showdown with pound-for-pound star Sergio Martinez in his native Argentina.
Martinez underlined his position at the pinnacle of the sport in September when he dismantled Chavez for 11 rounds before climbing from the canvas amid a dramatic late onslaught in Las Vegas.
Murray confirmed preliminary discussion have taken place with the Martinez camp for an April clash but knows it would be dangerous to look beyond 12-0 knockout specialist Navarro.
"I know it has been mentioned and I know my manager and team have spoken to them but it's in the very early stages," he explained.
"My team know I'll fight anybody and if the deal's right I'll go absolutely anywhere and fight anybody.
"To be mentioned with those type of names, they're the fights I'm looking for, but first and foremost I've got to get past this fight and that's not going to be an easy task."
Martinez has also shared a ring with and beaten leading Brits Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin over the past 13 months.
Despite a clear appetite for taking on his domestic rivals, Murray is unsure over whether the feeling is mutual.
"I want to be involved in those type of fights but it's whether the others do," he said.
"The Hattons have put good purses in, especially for Macklin to fight me and they knocked it back.
"They put £150,000 down for him to fight me and he fought for £50,000 in another fight (Macklin's first-round knockout of Joachim Alcine on the Martinez-Chavez undercard).
"They should happen, but it's not certain that they will unfortunately."