By Terence Dooley
John Murray advised BoxingScene.com that he is happy to be mentioned as a possible opponent for Amir Khan's April 16 homecoming contest. Murray, 30-0 (18), defeated Andriy Kudryavtsev in nine rounds last September; the 26-year-old has confirmed that he is the logical choice should Khan take on a domestic rival in his first contest on UK soil for over a year.
Amir also offered the fight to Paul McCloskey, an offer referred to by Eddie Hearn, the promoter of McCloskey, as "peanuts", Khan told the Northern Irishman that he will not be "treated as a cash cow" and today told the EBU light-welterweight boss to "come to his senses" and accept the fight.
Golden Boy's CEO Richard Schaefer mentioned Murray as a possible opponent, “There's no point in him flying McCloskey over to Manchester when it won't really capture the local imagination as much as a fight with me and Amir,” stated Murray.
Murray is still in the dark over when it comes to his chances of ever facing Khan; the former English and British 135lb title-holder feels that it is “now or never” in regards to this one. “I don't know if McCloskey will get the fight or not but I think a fight with me and Amir would catch on,” he reiterated.
“I think it would be a good mix. I'd have a lot of fans, Amir would have a lot of fans – it would be a good atmosphere and a good fight for Manchester. I'm up for it. We've talked about this fight for years. All of Manchester and Bolton wants to see it and so do the British fans. We've both done a bit of trash talking about each other in the past but I think we should just get in on or accept that it will never happen.”
Many believe that Murray's chances of winning a shoot-out with Khan have decreased with each successive defence of Khan's WBA title; his last outing, a points win over Marcos Maidana, saw Khan take some full-blooded shots to his so-called “china” chin. Murray, whilst acknowledging Khan's toughness, feels that he will succeed where Maidana failed.
“Amir did very well against a tough kid, he came through it well but I will be different from Maidana and can win it. People might think Amir will win it easily but he'd have to fight with me at some point and I think I'd win that fight. The time is now. We're both fighters, we both want the fight and there won't be a better opportunity than now,” he declared.
“This latest rest hasn't done me any harm because I had an eye problem going into the Kudryavtsev fight and a few niggles that have cleared up. The rest has let me heal up a bit – I'm raring to go again. I feel fit and fresh, am back in the gym and can't wait for the big fights.”
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