Joe Murray says he will back up his fighting talk, when he appears on a huge night of boxing in his home city of Manchester on September 23.
Joe, brother of former world title challenger John, takes on Matty Fagan in a British lightweight title eliminator at the Manchester Arena; part of a stacked undercard to Joseph Parker’s WBO world heavyweight title fight against Hughie Fury, exclusively live on YouTube (www.youtube.com/pakerfury)
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said the 30-year-old. “Before this fight, I’ve been moaning saying I wanted to be on the big shows, and what’s better than a massive Manchester show. I’ve never boxed at the Arena, although I’ve seen great fights there like Ricky Hatton versus Kostya Tszyu, and I’ve watched my brother there against Anthony Crolla. So, I’ve always wanted to box at the Arena, it’s always been a dream of mine to fight in front of my home crowd in a massive stadium.”
Former Olympian Murray, has lost just twice in 23 contests, both times at super-featherweight to Liam Walsh. In 2013, Walsh defeated Joe on points, before finishing him in five rounds in a 2015 British title fight. Since those losses, Murray has regrouped at lightweight and now faces Fagan for a crack at the Lonsdale Belt. Current domestic champ Robbie Barrett meets challenger Lewis Ritson on October 7, but Joe says he has the beating of either of them.
Before any thought of Barrett or Ritson, ‘Genius’ Murray has to successfully negotiate the challenge of former sparring partner, Fagan. The Ellesmere Port man has his own ambitions to get to the top, and will be buoyed by fighting on such a big stage. With just two defeats in 13 dust-ups, one of them coming to former British super-featherweight ruler Gary Buckland, Matty has earned this eliminator, and his battle with Murray could well be fight-of-the-night.
“I’ve got to put on an exciting performance against Matty,” said Murray. “I’ve been doing a lot of talking, and the only way I’m going to get the big fights made is by putting on a good performance and backing up what I’m saying. This fight isn’t just about winning for me, it’s about looking good and winning in style.
“I’m taking nothing from our previous sparring. I believe in my own ability. When we turn up we can all be different fighters anyway, and when you have the 8oz gloves on it’s totally different. I believe I’m better than Matty Fagan though, and better than most lightweights around. I’m going to go in there and put a show on.
“I think Ritson will have the edge over Barrett, but I’d be happy to fight either of them. I don’t think the lightweight division is that strong at the moment anyway, and I just want to fight the winner and then move onto bigger things. If Crolla beats Ricky Burns then I’d absolutely love an all-Manchester fight against him in the future.”
The WBO World Heavyweight Championship between Joe Parker v Hughie Fury headlines an action-packed card that also feaures: The Vacant WBO Intercontinental Super-Welterweight Championship between Jimmy 'Kilrain' Kelly v Stiliyan Kostov; The British Bantamweight Championship Josh Wale v Don Broadhurst; The British Lightweight Championship Eliminator Joe Murray v Matty Fagan. Plus Peter McDonagh v Shayne Singleton in a 10 Round Super-Welterweight Contest, backed up top talents: Ryan Farrag, Yusuf Safa, Lyndon Arthur, Jake Kilganoon, Jack Cullen, Mickey Ellison, Lee Carter and Alex Dickinson.