Martin Murray was supposed to have another world title crack on Saturday against Billy Joe Saunders, but instead he’ll be facing Roberto Garcia, a 38-year-old veteran and holder of the WBC “silver” title.
Murray (36-4-1, 17 KO) wants that world title shot again, of course, and knows he has to beat Garcia to have hope of getting there.
“There’s no one who has ever fought for the world middleweight title five times from England, and that’s what is spurring me on. The only reason I will get another shot is if I have looked good in my previous fights.
“I’m a world-class fighter, and I know there’s another world title fight in me. I’m still there, and I’m a survivor. If I can’t beat this next opponent, it would have to be the end because I should be beating guys like him. It’s the last chance — if I can’t beat him, I’m finished.”
Murray, 35, is still a contender at 160, and he’s had four world title shots. In 2011, he challenged Felix Sturm in Germany, only to come out with a controversial draw. In 2013, he went to Argentina and lost to Sergio Martinez, in a close fight where he had his supporters in the end. In 2015, he was thrashed by Gennady Golovkin. And later in 2015, he was back in Germany, where he lost a super middleweight title bid to Arthur Abraham by split decision.
Like he said, he’s a survivor. Outside of the Golovkin challenge, any of those fights could have gone his way with different judges or a couple different breaks, maybe. He’s been close.
Garcia (41-3, 24 KO) is no pushover, with just one loss since 2004, against the comebacking Antonio Margarito in 2010. But he’s built his record against less-than-stellar opposition, too. Murray should be the favorite here.
And if he wins, hey, he is right in the mix at 160 for yet another world title shot, which he was supposed to be getting already this year, anyway.