Murray, 32-2 (19), returned to action in November with a fourth-round TKO win over Michael Escobar at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester. It was Murray's first action since an 11th-round TKO loss to Brandon Rios at Madison Square Garden for the WBA lightweight belt in December 2011; the 29-year-old weighed 140lbs against Escobar, but told me that he will still campaign at lightweight.
Simpson dropped to 25-10 (11) after losing by seventh-round TKO against Tommy Coyle in November. The Greenock-based boxer was coming off a run of three wins — Paul Appleby (TKO 6), Dai Davies (TKO 2) and Choi Tseveenpurev (L12) — and had put his December 2011 destruction at the fists of Lee Selby to one side before running into Coyle. The 30-year-old is running out of time and chances, as is Murray, and their mutual need for a win should set up a compelling clash on the Eddie Hearn-promoted bill, which is topped by Ricky Burns's WBO lightweight title defence against Terence Crawford.
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