By Elliot Foster
Martin Murray has taken a swipe at Frank Warren ahead of his fight with Billy Joe Saunders.
The St Helens middleweight will challenge the Hatfield ace for the WBO belt in just over two months’ time.
Murray, with a victory, will hold the only belt that is not in the custody of Gennady Golovkin, the Kazakh WBC, WBA Super, IBO and IBF champion.
But he is concerned that the promoter of the show –– on June 23 at the O2 Arena in London –– is dismissing his chances of winning the fight.
“With all due respect, Frank,” he said at a press conference in London on Tuesday, “and I know you’ve not been my promoter for a long time but Billy’s throughout his career, I’m your fighter now and I hear you going on about how Billy’s doing this and that or fighting [Gennady] Golovkin or [Saul] ‘Canelo’ [Alvarez] or George Groves and I’m fed up of hearing it.”
The fight between the pair had been set to happen on April 14 at the same venue, but Saunders suffered a hand injury which forced the fight to be postponed.
There were suggestions that Saunders, the 28-year-old undefeated fighter who put on a career-best performance to outpoint David Lemieux back in December, could step in to fight Golovkin on May 5, should Alvarez be banned for a pair of failed drugs tests.
And though Alvarez was banned for six months, with the ban backdated to February 17, it was Vanes Martirosyan who got the call to face ‘GGG’.
“On June 23, this is my time and I will become world champion,” Murray, 35, added. "I’m a genuine believer in everything happening for a reason and I think I’ve been put in this position to become world champion.
“He stands in my way and I want those big money fights too.”
Warren fired back at Murray, somewhat dismayed at the idea that he favoured Saunders over him.
He said: “Bill’s been winning and with me from day one, he turned pro with me and they are where the money is. Those two guys are the big names and they are who we want.
“We’ve been through thick and thin together but you’ve got the opportunity to win it. You’re in the ring and the best man’s going to win on the night. Your opportunity is to go and grab that title and get those big money fights.
“I don’t overlook you –– I think you’re a quality operator, a quality bloke and a quality fighter –– but as I said before, it is what it is.”
But Murray, who has previously failed to win global honours on four occasions, laid his cards out and said that he was unhappy with the way he has been treated.
“I know the sport of boxing and the way it is. I understand the game and the politics and I think you get overlooked a bit, but I get it.
“I’ve been alright about it up until coming here [to the press conference] and you just go on about it all the time. You do my head in a bit, to be honest with you.”