WARRINGTON middleweight Martin Murray was this week giving no comment to speculation linking him with a springtime world title shot against Sergio Martinez.
The tough Argentinian, arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world, has a slot pencilled in for the defence of his WBC crown on April 27 – and Murray has been touted as a possible opponent.
But the unbeaten Murray is not getting distracted by that talk, instead he is giving the opponent he faces a week on Saturday his undivided focus, attention and respect.
He needs to.
The 30-year-old, who lives with his family in Paddington but hails from St Helens, faces a dangerous bout against the unbeaten Venezuelan Jorge Navarro for the Interim WBA middleweight crown.
The fight, at the Manchester Arena, is the main support bout to Ricky Hatton’s comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko but Murray is not letting that hullabaloo get to him either.
He knows the bout against something of an unknown commodity with a great knockout ratio is one he has to be on his mettle for.
Murray said: “I have not seen any footage of him yet. My manager and trainer have seen the video they have sent over of him, but it was a first round knockout, so we have not got much from that.
“Looking at his record he can obviously punch. He is young at 27 and is undefeated so is going to be ambitious. This is a massive chance for him, which makes him very dangerous.”
Having relinquished his Commonwealth and British belts, Murray can replace those with a pretty useful strap by beating Navarro, one which puts him in a better position of getting a world title crack.
“One of the good things in fighting for the interim belt is that it has to be against someone ranked in the top 10 in the world with that governing body.
“The belt holder would be between the top ranked contender and the world champion.
“It puts me in a stronger position to get bigger fights,” he said.
Having had only one fight – and an uninspiring one against Karim Achour in June – since drawing with then world champion Felix Sturm last December, Murray is champing at the bit for this one.
Although he admits he has probably been training too long for this, preparations have gone well.
“Navarro is going to be game and has more to gain than me and that makes him more dangerous.
“But because I expect a harder fight that makes me better prepared. We’ve covered everything in training.”