Martin Murray: Im now above Macklin and Barker
On December 2nd, Britainís Martin Murray made an excellent first step into world class when his title clash with longtime WBA Super World middleweight champion Felix Sturm resulted in a split draw. Having been touted as a major underdog heading into the bout, Murray, now 23-0-1 (10), gave a career best performance and was seen as the winner in many peopleís eyes. Murray jetted straight off to the Caribbean following the bout to get married and, having returned home to the joys of a snowy St Helens in December, gives www.Livefight.com the inside story on the fight and what the future may hold.
Firstly, congratulations on the wedding!
Nice one! It went well thanks. We had two weeks there and everybody really enjoyed it.
So, the fightÖÖ
The fight. Iíve only watched it once since, I watched it yesterday, so Iíve not really studied it. Itís a close fight. It all depends how you score the rounds. I thought I just pipped it but was it enough to take victory on German soil?
How did you cope over there? Were you pleased with how you reacted to the whole situation?
The thing is, Me and Oliver (Harrison, Murrayís coach) have known all along that I was at that level so it was just about getting the chance to prove it. When I was up there, it just felt like I belonged there. I was in the fight, in with a good world champion and I knew I could beat him.
Tell me if Iím wrong but it seemed to take you a few rounds to really get going. Did it take that long to believe that you belonged at that level?
Iím always a cautious starter. Iím a very cautious and careful fighter. Not many people gave me much of a chance going over there and one thing I didnít wanna do was go over and get flattened in a couple of rounds. If Iíd done that, itíd have proved a lot of people right. You never know how youíre gonna feel until you get up there and I started warming to it.
You never know how people are gonna score it. I looked at it yesterday and I thought I won the first round. He didnít throw as many punches. Itís alright him saying he throws eye catching shots for the last 30 seconds of a round but if the other guys winning the other two and a half minutes, that shouldnít win you the round should it? Iíve found now that when people are watching fights, theyíre scoring rounds like a German judge would score it! I donít think itís right. It was a close fight and it all depends how you score it though. I enjoyed it up there though and hopefully I can get a rematch. I know Iíll beat him next time.
What does Sturm do well? Did anything surprise you? Was he as good as or worse than you expected?
I said all along that if the same Sturm who fought Matthew Macklin turned up, then Iíd beat him and stop him. If a better Sturm turned up, a Sturm at his best Ė and I knew it would be because he said he underestimated Macklin and wanted to prove a point. He said heíd had his best training camp for ten years for me Ė that itíd be a close fight, a hard twelve rounds and thatís what it was.
Heís got a very, very good defence. We wanted to work on stabbing little shots downstairs to weaken and soften him up but even poking a jab through his guard, his guards really tight and the jab kind of slid down the front. Itís different when you get up with these world class fighters because you just think more díyou know what I mean? I was thinking a lot. Heís dead good with his counters so I was cautious about those. I knew I belonged at that level though. I could have kept going, I know he caught me in the last couple of seconds but I was completely fine and could have gone on from there. I think he was feeling it more than me.
On that, do you think you were hurt most or do you think you hurt him more badly in the eighth round? Itís different watching on TV, you could see he eyes. Did you know youíd hurt him?
Me and Oliver spoke about this before. We have this thing where if you hurt anybody, you give them five seconds, ten seconds at the most, because you donít wanna burn yourself out. Unless I can see something in there that Oliver canít see and I know heís gonna go. I hurt him but it wasnít one of those where I thought ďI can give it him here and stop himĒ. I knew that I hurt him but it wasnít one where I could go in and finish him off.
You never know how youíre gonna feel until you get up there and thatís just how boxing is. Itís easier said than done! I know what to do next time and Iím very confident Iíll beat him and Iíd gladly go over and fight him. It was only my second time going twelve rounds and heís done it a lot so I didnít wanna burn myself out and get stopped. If Iíd got stopped, it would have been all for nothing for me. I was loving it, enjoying it and hoping for a rematch now.
There has been some talk on the internet that you were given bigger gloves than Sturm for the fight and a photograph surfaced seeming to prove the point. Whatís the real story?
Iíve seen it today for the first time. I didnít know. To be honest with you, the day before the fight at the weigh in they were going on about the gloves. They sent over these big, daft Paffen gloves like pillows and said ďthe Germans say you have to wear theseĒ. I said that if he was wearing them then I had no problem. My manager Neil Marsh on the phone to their guy who runs it over there and he told us that Sturm would be wearing Grant gloves! Me and my manager said that if he was wearing Grant gloves then so was I. They then said that there ďwas no Grant gloves left. Weíve only got one pairĒ and were being stupid.
As it turned out, Neil got one of his mates to drive from Wigan to I think it was Worcester, to open his boxing shop and bring two pairs of Grants over with him. His mate bought them over, it was about 5 oíclock in the morning when we met him, so we had the 10oz Grants. When I looked at the photos before, they did look a bit smaller than mine.
If itís the case, itís a joke but I question that. Iím not a cheater. I would never cheat whatsoever. I just want everything to be the same. If I get beaten by a better man then give him his due. I canít see it myself because I wouldnít do that. Especially at the level heís at.
There has been talk of a rematch but Iíve also seen a fight with Andy Lee on the undercard of Sergio Martinez v Matthew Macklin mentioned. Is there any truth to that and which would you prefer?
There has been talk of that but to be honest I want Sturm again because I know I can beat him next time and Iíll be a world champion then. Thereíll be some massive fights there for me then. Thatís the fight I want.
If something could be sorted to go and fight Andy Lee, Iíd gladly do it. Andy contacted me on twitter wishing me luck and saying heíd be rooting for me. I thought that was sound. You get idiots like Macklin slagging you and then you get another top middleweight who you could possibly fight sending you a good luck message, I thought that was sound of him. Like I always say bout boxing, if we can both make a few quid out of it weíd be stupid not to do it, thatís why weíre in the game. If the fight can get sorted itís happy days.
It seems like Macklin and Darren Barker have found it hard to give you any credit over the last few months?
Over the last 18 months Iíve been on their tales. About six months ago when I won my British title they were in the studio saying they were a level above Martin and he hasnít fought anybody. In the last six months, weíve all fought for world titles and Iíve come out on top so theyíre bound to be a bit bitter. I donít need them now. Why do I need them? Iím rated above them. One of us needs a belt to make it worthwhile, thereís no point in fighting for nothing.
No worries. Thanks to www.Livefight.com for all the exposure and Iíll catch up with you next year.