WORLD middleweight title challenger Martin Murray entered the lion’s den this week when he fronted up to legendary WBC champion Sergio Martinez in his own Argentine back yard.
The unbeaten 30-year old from Paddington is over in Buenos Aires to promote April’s contest, which takes place at Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield football stadium in the capital.
Accompanied by promoter Ricky Hatton at Wednesday’s press conference, Murray looked comfortable and composed fielding questions through an interpreter as the media frenzy gathered around homecoming hero Martinez.
Springtime’s big title fight will be the first time Martinez has fought on home soil since 2002 – but absence has clearly made the heart grow fonder.
Martinez has recently beaten free-scoring Barcelona striker Lionel Messi to the title of Argentina’s greatest athlete. The St Helens-born fighter was careful to pay due respect to the 37-year-old king of the 11st 6 division before vowing that he is “coming over to do the job”.
Murray said: “Sergio Martinez is a quality fighter, who deserves to be where he is today and I respect him.
“The last few years I have grown up watching Martinez. He’s a modern day legend and rightly so, but I am a hungry fighter, I’m young and undefeated and coming here to win.
“We are going to be coming over as a team, we're going to give it our all and are not coming here to lose.
“We know we can come over here and do the job, we really do.”