Manchester ace John Murray is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Ricky Hatton and conquer America this Saturday night.
Murray has already held the British and European titles, but the 26-year-old now takes a big step up to world level when he faces WBA World Lightweight Champion Brandon Rios at Madison Square Garden in New York, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky platform Ch. 456).
"This is by far the biggest bout of my career to date," said Murray. "To be fighting in the 'Mecca' of boxing, Madison Square Garden, for the world title is the whole reason I got into this sport in the first place.
"If you don't want to have nights like this then there is no point being in this game. I've fought over in America in the past and have won each time, so I aim to continue that run on December 3rd against Rios."
"Hatton had many great nights in America and I hope that I'm the next Manchester fighter who can win there."
Murray's last bout was a cracking encounter against British rival Kevin Mitchell, which the latter won, but he feels that he has come back stronger from defeat and it will help him beat Rios.
"This is a great stage for me to bounce back after my defeat to Mitchell," he said. "Since that loss we've been back in the gym and have gone back to basics."
"I've been working on moving my feet and legs a lot more, I think the loss was the kick-up-the-bum I needed to reignite my motivation for the sport. Training and sparring have been going extremely well and I'm looking forward to just getting back in the ring and putting on a good show."
Murray knows that if he is to bring the world title back to Manchester with him, he will need to be at his best against the unbeaten American.
"Rios is a very good fighter and is the champion for a reason, he is very good coming forward, but at times he tends to neglect his defense a little bit and I'm going to try and exploit that and keep myself tight."
"The loss to Mitchell comes into play once again because it has made me look at my defence to improve it and get myself sharper. I feel like if I had this fight before l lost I would just go in there and have a fight with him, but now I want to try and be a little bit smarter."
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