By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
JOHN Murray is demanding a world title shot after admitting: “I’ve been kept waiting long enough.”
Murray makes the second defence of his European lightweight crown against Spaniard Karim El Ouzaghari at London’s York Hall on Saturday.
And the 26-year-old unbeaten Manchester fighter believes the time has now come for the governing bodies to give him a world title chance.
He said: “I’ve cleaned up domestically with the British and the European title. This will be my second defence and I think that, after waiting, I now warrant a world title shot.
“I don’t want to get bogged down by defending the European title over and over again. I want to move on and test myself against the very best in the division.
“I’ve stopped my last six opponents. I’m showing in title-class fights that I belong to be there. I’m taking the kids out. I’m not going the distance.”
Murray, who will be bidding to extend his unbeaten run to 31, added: “They’re not close fights, either. I’m winning by stoppage every time.
“I’m keen to get a world title shot while I’m in this good run of form. I want it sooner rather than later.”
Murray certainly has enough ring experience to have his wish granted and, having sparred with world champions, he wants to join that exclusive club himself.
Saturday’s bout will be his first under promoter Frank Warren.
He feels the move will help push him towards the world title and said: “If I keep winning, Frank will do his part by getting me a world title shot.
“Challenging for a world belt is a step up, but I’ve sparred with world champs like Ricky (Hatton) and Shane (Mosley) and I felt comfortable in there.”
He is hoping to take on new WBA champ Brandon Rios or WBC king Humberto Soto before the year is out.
Murray v El Ouzaghari tops the bill at York Hall on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 1 from 9.30pm.