10-Count Quiz: Martin Murray
There’s an old saying about opportunity that when it knocks a man still has to get up off his seat to open the door. When opportunity came knocking for British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Martin Murray, he was already waiting on the front porch.
Now in Germany at the behest of WBA middleweight super champion Felix Sturm, Murray gets ready to kick off a string of title fights to close out the year for British boxing. Beating the champion on his home turf will be a tall order as Matthew Macklin found out earlier this year, but then the Hatton Promotions fighter has been preparing for this trip for a little while now.
Possessing a 23-0 record with only 10 coming by way of knockout, the St Helens native knew he had a safe enough CV for a world champion to take a gamble on him. But what his knockout ratio doesn’t show is the handy middleweight was so badly matched at the start of his career that he spent most of his time fighting light-heavyweights.
Before trying to enact his alternative script ending, Murray took a moment to take on our 10-Count Quiz…
1. How did you get into boxing?
St Helens, where I’m from, is a well-known boxing town, everybody in the community’s had a go at boxing and that was it. I’d always been in gyms since a little kid but proper into it with a pal when I was about 10, and never looked back since. I remember growing up and watching the big fights, and thinking I could only dream about being involved in nights like that. It’s not till you get a bit mature and pick it as a career option till you start believing you can go all the way.
2. Who was your boxing hero?
Nigel Benn. I’ve actually met him a couple of times since and he’s a cracking bloke. I grew up watching him and admiring him, then to meet him and have proper chat with him, and he was a really sound bloke, was actually quite surreal. I was also a big fan of Julio Cesar Chavez as well – I like the hardcore fighters!
3. What would you change in boxing?
I’d just say more money. Everyone thinks when you’re a boxer you’re a millionaire cos you only see the big fights on telly. Okay you can make some big money at the top but until you get to that elite level its not the best. There are some great fighters who unfortunately can’t sell tickets so they can’t get out there and they don’t get as much backing. Then there are journeymen going places and getting their head punched in for £500 a time, which is no good. So I’d have more money in the game at the lower levels.
4. If there was a Super Six-style tournament in your division who would you have in it and why?
I’d have myself in it for obvious reasons, then Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin because they’re the best in Britain. I’ll put the champions in there, Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm. And also Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, not just because he has a title but cos I’d love to beat one of my heroes sons!
5. Pick a fantasy fight, any boxers from past or present?
To be honest I’m not the biggest boxing fan or historian. I look at boxing as my job and don’t watch it or follow it as much as you’d think. People that don’t box probably follow it more than me. But if I had to pick a fantasy fight I’d say Muhammad Ali vs Mike Tyson, and I’d have to back Ali for that one just because of what he did for the sport.
6. What would you be doing if you weren’t a boxer?
I’ve just passed a course in college for being a youth worker so that’s something I want to go into when I finish boxing. I’ve been doing it on he side for a couple of years and would definitely be doing it full time if it wasn’t for boxing.
7. Who is the best British fighter currently?
Carl Froch and Amir Khan are the frontrunners at the minute, but Froch has been in a lot more physical and tougher fights and come through so I’d have to say him. Carl Froch has been in the Super Six and has been fighting the best super-middleweights out there back to back. Hopefully he can beat Andre Ward and be recognised as the best at the weight bar none.
8. Before a fight, how do you get in the zone mentally?
I’m in the zone well before the fight, I’m in the zone now and can’t wait to get over there and get in the ring. But before the fight I try to relax, you constantly think of the fight, and everything just kicks in automatically with me. I know what I’ve trained for and I know what I’ve got to do so I don’t really have to put myself in the zone, my body’s already there.
9. What would be your perfect after fight blow-out?
After every fight, my mum or my missus’ mum usually has the kids, so me and the missus go and see everyone who came to support me. I don’t have a drink, just say thank you before getting home and getting my head down so I’m early to see my kids in the morning. But the next day that’s the one for me, and it’s just about being out with everyone that’s come and supported me – having a drink with all my mates and supporters.
10. What’s the dream?
To be a millionaire! Seriously I think anybody’s dream who’s in boxing - and if they tell you any different they’re lying - is to be able to retire with enough money so that your finances are secure. That’s my dream and not many people are lucky enough to do that, I accept that. So on a more realistic level it’s just to get out of boxing mortgage free. I don’t want to get to the end of my career and think that I got up early every morning; I trained, and put my body through so much grief for nothing. I want to get something out of it and my first priority is getting mortgage free.