Martin Murray: I got more confidence from Golovkin fight

By Boxing News - 06/07/2016 - Comments


By Scott Gilfoid: #10 WBC Martin Murray (33-3-1, 16 KOs) says he’s picked up loads of confidence from his title shot against WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin last year. Murray, 33, was stopped in the 11th round after getting trapped against the ropes by Golovkin and literally pummeled until the referee had to step in and halt the fight. It’s hard to understand how Murray got more confidence from his loss to Golovkin because he looked utterly poor in that fight. It was one of those Custer’s last stand type of routs for Murray. He was getting bludgeoned by Golovkin and on the retreat constantly until he was stopped in round 11.

Murray says he’s going to take the confidence from the Golovkin fight into his WBC 168lb eliminator bout against three-time world title challenger George Groves (23-3, 18 KOs) on June 25 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Groves-Murray is the co-feature bout on the Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale card on Sky Box Office PPV.

Murray figures that Groves won’t be able to do the things that Golovkin did to him because he doesn’t rate him as nearly the same kind of talent. I don’t think anyone will disagree with Murray with that opinion. Murray says he’s going to give Groves a beating on June 25 in the process of winning the fight. A victory for Murray will put him in position to eventually get a title shot at the WBC super middleweight belt that is currently held by Badou Jack. By the time that Murray does get a shot at the title, it could be held by Jack, James DeGale or Callum Smith. When the dust clears from those fights, Murray will be facing one of those guys for the WBC belt, but first he’ll need to defeat Groves.

“I feel far from a finished fighter. I’m improving in the gym every day,” said Murray to IFL TV. “I feel like I’m just getting into my prime. It’s important for me to win and then go on and realize my dream and finally achieve my dream and win a world title. I’ve been so close three times before. I’m more or less a world champion without a belt. I want to get myself in position. I want a big world title fight. That’s what I’m heading for now. I’ll beat Groves. I’m confident I’m going to win. I know I’ve got what it takes to beat to beat him, and on June 25, you’ll see me break him down and beat him. I train for fights to go all the way and take him into deep waters. I’ve got a good engine. I’ve got a high work rate, I’m busy and I can go for a solid 12 rounds. Groves has got stamina issues. It’s well known. The fight favors me later on. I’ve got one of the best defenses. It took someone like Golovkin, someone of his quality, to open me up and to do what he did. I’ve been in with world class fighters and they have not been able to do that. I’ve been in with better fighters than George Groves and they’re not been able to do it. I’m confident in this fight. The only way I get beat is if I get caught with something stupid early. Obviously, he’s proved to be chinny. He’s shown that when he gets hit, he does go down. He’s got chinks in his armor that I’m going to exploit. We’ve been working on tactics, and we know what to do to beat him. In my opinion, he should have never left [trainer] Adam Booth. He’s chinny and he does have chinks in his armor and on June 25, I’ll exploit them and beat him in a way he’s never been beaten before,” said Murray.

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Yeah, I don’t think Murray took a bad beating in his fight against Golovkin. Murray was too busy moving around the ring, holding and trying not to get hit for him to take a lot of punishment. Murray was knocked down three times by Golovkin in getting dropped twice in round four and once in the 10th round. You can argue that the only reason Murray didn’t get knocked down more was because he was in the pure survival mode after the 4th round.

Murray looked like he was trying to win the fight for the first four rounds, but after the two knockdowns he suffered, he spent pretty much the remainder of the fight running and holding. It wasn’t pretty to watch, and I think Murray’s perception of the fight is far different from the reality that I saw in the ring. It was just ugly spoiling on Murray’s part. He was able to make it to the 11th, but only because he was on his bike the whole time and holding at any chance he could get.

As far as Murray’s game plan for the Groves fight, he would do well to mimic what Carl Froch did to Groves by applying constant pressure for three minutes of every round so that Groves can’t rest. Murray will need to change his fighting style from being defensive to being offensive. I don’t know if he can do that though. Murray is more of a defensive fighter at heart, and it’s hard for those type of fighters to change their stripes when they need to.

When asked if his knockout loss to Gennady Golovkin took something out of him physically, Murray said, “Nothing at all. I got more confidence from the Golovkin fight than any other fight I have ever had before or since. I know I’m a tough man. Golovkin had a top amateur pedigree. Showing that I could mix it with him, take his shots, keep going with heart and desire. I took loads of confidence from it. There’s no one out there that to me apart from Golovkin. Groves doesn’t know what it takes to do that. I’ve been in tougher fights than he’ll ever be in. The Froch fight was tough for him, but he was clinically beaten and it took a lot out of him. I think on June 25, he’s going to be in for another type of that fight. He’s not been in a fight like that since. When it gets hard for him psychologically and mentally, I will break him, and you will see him fold and crumble,” said Murray.