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Murray targets Rios and Soto if he beats Ouazghari on Saturday

By William Mackay: EBU lightweight champion John Murray (30-0, 18 KO’s) wants to go after the big names in the lightweight division if he can get past Spaniard Karim El Ouazghari (11-1-2, 4 KO’s) on Saturday night in his 2nd defense of his European Boxing Union belt at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.

Murray, 26, doesn’t want to be held back by having to defend his belt against EBU caliber fighters over and over again and wants to step it up several notches by taking on world class opponents after this.

Speaking with the Manchester Evening News, Murray said “There is Humberto Soto and Brandon Rios and we’d happily fight either of them. They are two fights that I’m confident that if we brought them over here I could take those world titles off them.”

I don’t see Murray beating either of those guys in this lifetime. Soto and Rios appear to be a level above Murray in talent and have better defensive skills and more punch variation. Murray is a decent fighter, but Soto and Rios are fighting on a really high level right now.

To beat them, you have to have head movement and an ability to get out of the way of shots. Murray seems to plod right into punches. He’s been able to overpower his opposition thus far but he’s not been fighting anyone that you could consider world class.

Ouazghari could spoil Murray’s plans on Saturday if he connects with one of his big left hooks. Ouazghari has excellent power with his left hook and he’ll surely have more than a few opportunities to land his money punch on Saturday with Murray plodding forward with his nonexistent defense all night long.

Murray had best try to get Ouazghari out of there as fast as possible or else we may see a big upset. Murray’s dreams of fighting Rios and Soto will be then down the drain and he’ll have to start from the bottom to try and work his way back into another EBU title shot.

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