MARTIN MURRAY insists he will be cheering on Matthew Macklin in his world title bid next month.
The pair have been locked in a verbal brawl for a few months and came close to boxing in April, only for the scrap to fall through.
Macklin challenges Felix Sturm for the WBA middleweight crown in Cologne on June 25 and Murray is anxious to face him.
Unbeaten Murray aims to show he is up to scratch when he makes a Commonwealth title defence against a selected opponent at Robin Park Arena, Wigan on Saturday June 18.
The St Helens boxer, 28, is ranked fifth by the WBA and said: “I want to fight Macklin, but I will be cheering him on against Sturm because I would rather have a British world champion than a German.
“If the fight can be made then great, but I am patient and my time will come one day soon.
“I am not one for making predictions, but if you go on Macklin’s last two performances it is hard to pick him.”
Murray also has his eyes on new European champion Darren Barker and added: “Give me that chance against Barker and I would take it.
“I am not holding my breath and realise that right now I need Barker and Macklin a lot more than they need me so I can understand them not looking at me.
“What have they got to benefit from if they beat me at the moment, but in time they will be wanting and needing me.
“I haven’t even been a professional for four years and I have achieved more than they did in their first four years.”
He won the title last July, outpointing Australian Peter Mitrevski Jr and also holds the WBA inter-continental crown.
The bill will be televised live on Sky Sports and among the galaxy of Hatton Promotions prospects on the undercard including Olympic star Joe Murray.
Tickets for this big night of title action are available £35, £55 (Ringside) and £75 VIP Ringside, www.brandhatton.com /0844 847 2500/0161 775 7500