A refreshed John Murray admits he cannot afford to suffer a third straight defeat when he faces Gavin Rees. Mancunian Murray was confirmed as the reigning British and European lightweight champion's next opponent on Monday, with the two to meet on the 'Christmas Cracker' bill at the London Olympia on December 8.
For the 27-year-old it will be his first fight in over a year, having opted to take a break from the ring after falling short in his brave bid to claim the vacant WBA title against Brandon Rios last November.
"I've had a long break from boxing and I'm feeling fresh," he told the Manchester Evening News. "When I fought Brandon Rios it was my 33rd professional fight. I'd been very busy and I'd had two hard fights. Now I've had my break and I'm in tremendous shape.
"This is do or die for me. If I lose three on the bounce then I don't know where there would be for me to go. It's on the line and if I win it will bounce me straight back into world title contention. Gavin is a great fighter and it is going to be one hell of a bust-up," he added. Everyone is already saying this is going to be the fight of the year and it has all the potential to be that.
"I'm treating it as my last chance to fight for a world title. I gave up the European and British titles - I never lost any of them. As far as I am concerned, Gavin Rees has got them on loan."