MARTIN MURRAY will challenge World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight champion Felix Sturm later this year.
St Helens’ British, Commonwealth and WBA intercontinental champion meets the German superstar at the SAP Arena, Mannheim on Friday 2nd December.
Murray will be bidding to become the first Hatton Promotions fighter to win a world championship crown.
The undefeated 28-year-old said: “I am absolutely buzzing and have so much motivation to go over there and beat Sturm.
“I first knew about the fight in early September, but we couldn’t say anything until the contract was signed.
“I have started an 11 week training camp at Oliver Harrison’s gym and come fight night I will be in the shape of my life.
“I have been ready for this chance for about nine months, but I seemed to slip under the radar because everybody talks about Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker as the main middleweights in Britain.”
Sturm was a controversial points winner over Macklin in June, but Murray insists he has every confidence in the officials.
He added: “I watched Sturm’s defence against Macklin and made it a draw. When it is that close the champion on home soil usually gets the decision and there could be no real complaints.
“The WBA are a fantastic organisation and been very good to me so I will not be worrying about the scoring.
“Anyway, I am better fighter than Macklin and I will go one better than him in December.”
Murray who has won all 23 fights and is ranked three by the WBA will be an underdog when he faces the formidable champion.
Sturm, 32, has lost just two of his 39 contests and will be making the 11th defence of the world title he won for the second time against Javier Castillejo in April 2007.
Murray last fought in June, when he forced Nick Blackwell to quit on his stool after five rounds.