British Lightweight Champion John Murray believes that next season could be a big one for his beloved Manchester City and mirror his own personal ambitions in the boxing ring.
The unbeaten 24-year-old makes the second defence of his Lonsdale belt against reigning English Champion, Scott Lawton on Hennessy Sports “Rule Britannia” event at the Robin Park Arena in Wigan this Saturday (June 13th).
The fight is live on ITV4 and Lawton who hails from Stoke believes he can replicate the Potteries 1 – 0 win over Manchester City from their premiership game at the Britannia Stadium earlier this year.
Murray however is aiming for a result more in line with the 3 – 0 thrashing that City gave the Potteries club when they visited the City of Manchester Stadium back in October.
“It was one game a piece in the premier league this season so it’s up to me and Scott to have the decider in the boxing ring,” said Murray. “Stoke did well this season and they really surprised a lot of people at how good they were coming up from the championship and I’m sure Scott Lawton will be out to surprise a few people as well.
“We’ve sparred together before and he’s a very good fighter and I won’t be underestimating him but I’ve sparred good pro’s like Paul Truscott and Peter McDonagh for this one and I’ve felt really sharp so training couldn’t have gone any better.”
Murray believes that next season could see Manchester City break the stranglehold of the big four in the premiership while he’ll be looking to make major moves in his own career over the coming months.
“Hopefully next season will be a big one for City, they’re certainly not afraid to get the cheque book out and I think they’ll be busy in the transfer market over the summer. I think with the right team we can qualify for the Champions League next season.”
Murray has European ambitions of his own and is targeting a European title shot before the end of the year. “I’ve got to get past Saturday night first but then I’m hoping to fight Jon Thaxton in September and a win there should line me up for a European title fight before the end of the year.”
Murray watched Thaxton lose his European title to Anthony Mezaache in February and he is desperate for a crack at the Frenchman’s title.
“I’d fight Mezaache tomorrow because the European title is a belt I really want,” said Murray. “Winning that gets you highly rated with the World bodies and that would set me up for a World title shot next year so it could be an exciting 12 months.”
The John Murray – Scott Lawton British Lightweight title fight headlines a big night of boxing at the Robin Park Arena, Wigan on Saturday, June 13th. Unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury will have his seventh professional outing while in a battle of Champions, Central Area title holder Nadeem Siddique takes on Southern Area Champ, Tom Glover.
Hot prospects Steve “Super Bad” Barnes and Phill Fury also feature alongside the pro debut of Bobby “Boogaloo” Ward, the last Englishman to defeat Amir Khan. Exciting puncher Andrew Singh Kooner completes the line-up.
Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.
Amir Khan's Dad is Cooking
Amir Khan's father Shah has been receiving cookery lessons - in a bid to help deliver a world title to son!
Khan Snr is with Amir in LA as he prepares for his June 27 clash at London's O2 Arena with Andreas Kotelnik for the Ukrainian's WBA World Light-Welterweight title.
And he has been donning his chef's hat in a bid to make sure Amir feels at home - after taking instructions from his wife.
On being asked about his diet ahead of the fight, Amir said: "My dad can cook now, he's learning how to cook a little bit more, my mum has taught him how to cook a few things.
"We've got people coming from England, everyone has a try and I've got one of my mates who tries to cook but I can't really trust him because I'll probably end up with food poisoning!"
Khan will be hoping that Shah's presence in the kitchen is equal to that of Violet Lewis, who helped her son Lennox become undisputed world heavyweight champion with her Caribbean cooking.
Shah added: "I'm really getting into my cooking now, but it's Amir who's got the perfect recipe for success.
"He hits hard, he's quick on his feet and he's got a great boxing brain.
"Amir likes he's home cooking and misses it when we are training camp so I've had a few lessons before coming out to LA for this camp."
"It's not as good as his mum's yet but I'm getting there!"
Frank Maloney Wins EBU Award
Frank Maloney has captured the coveted "Promoter of the Year" award of the European Boxing Union.
The announcement from the Rome based EBU comes as no surprise as the London based promoter has worked tirelessly to deliver many European title fights.
Maloney beat out a raft of competing promoters from across the Continent including organizations operating out of Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Russia as well as Ireland and the UK.
Maloney fighters having won or competed for European titles in recent years include Rendall Munroe, Jamie Moore, Ian Napa, David Haye and Carl Johanneson.
On the strength of their European title victories, super bantam Munroe and light middleweight Moore are nearing world title opportunities.
Winning the EBU Promoter of the Year award brings Maloney one step closer to realizing his vow of becoming Britain's top promoter before 2009 has run its course.
Frank Maloney Promotions will return later this month as British super flyweight champion Lee Haskins defends against English titlist Ross Burkinshaw and British super bantam titlist Jason Booth puts his belt at risk against Rocky Dean.
Sky Sports will televise both fight cards with ticket information coming soon.