Martin Murray Ready For The Challenge of Darren Barker
By Phil D. Jay
Undefeated middleweight contender Martin Murray has told WBN that an offer has been made to fight compatriot Darren Barker in April on the back of Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn revealing that he is awaiting a reply from a counter offer made for March 17.
The 29 year-old, who pushed WBA ‘super’ champion Felix Sturm all the way to a draw in December, still harbours hopes of a rematch with the German, but is also looking at other options as he plots other routes to another world title shot.
St. Helens-native Murray (23-0-1, 10 KO’s), is willing to meet Barker in a huge domestic clash in the spring and believes Hearn should accept the higher offer to let Hatton Promotions arrange the venue for the bout.
“I read the news from Eddie Hearn about the offer to myself for a fight with Barker and this is a fight I would love to make,” Murray told World Boxing News.
“This offer came after weeks and weeks after my fantastic team, Hatton promotions chased Eddie Hearn and Matchroom to make this fight.
“My team have offered them more money than they offered me and a date in April for the fight. My matchmaker Richard Poxon got a response that more or less said: ‘take it or leave it.’
“I was in the office with Richard Poxon and Ricky Hatton when his reply came and don’t believe this is the response of a team that wants this fight to happen."
Barker, also 29, put in a standout performance of his own in holding his ground against pound for pound middleweight king Sergio Martinez for eight rounds before eventually being worn down by the solid Argentinian and Murray is adamant that Barker could expect a similar end result if they met.
“They don't want the fight,” stated Murray. “That's no disrespect to Darren, because I do respect him but I am extremely confident I will beat him.
“I would love to fight Darren and the British public would love to see it, but like Macklin v Barker, it never happened and I'm concerned this won't happen too.
“My hopes are still that Felix Sturm will fight me again - but I'm not holding my breath.
“This fight really is down to Matchroom and Darren so come on, let’s get it on!’
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net