Martin Murray is refusing to criticise Darren Barker's upcoming
clash with Kerry Hope despite his own desire to face the Barnet
The pair have been linked for the best part of two years, but
Murray says he understands Barker's decision to box someone
"It's a good fight. They've both been European champions. Barker
is coming off an injury and wants to make a statement and Hope's
just lost the title and he'll want to show he was unfortunate to
lose to Proksa," the 30-year-old St Helens man told
"Beating Barker would be a massive statement for Hope and it'd
help him push on from there so they'll both be well up for it and
it's going to make for an interesting fight.
"I'm not looking at either of them now anyway. We've tried to
make both them fights and Eddie Hearn knocked it back for Barker
while the WBA turned Hope down for the interim title because he's
not ranked in the top ten."
Murray returns to action on the undercard of Ricky Hatton's
comeback at the Manchester Arena.
As yet, though, he doesn't know who'll be standing in the
opposite corner from him come fight night. A plethora of names have
been mentioned, but sadly none have been prepared to step up to the
This fact would frustrate many boxers, Murray however is
refusing to let it get to him.
"I've got a date and I'm happy about that," he said.
"I know that the Hattons are trying their best to do something
big for me and I'm grateful for that and grateful to be on such a
big bill on November 24.
"There's been loads of names mentioned for this fight and loads
that have knocked it back. I'm not too worried about that though, I
just leave it up to my team and I'm sure they'll get me the right
One name that has definitely been struck off the list at this
stage is Frenchman Julien Marie Sainte.
Despite being ranked in the top five with the World Boxing
Association (WBA), Marie Sainte is seemingly intent on shying away
from world honours so that he can gain home advantage in a European
Murray explained: "A couple of months ago he agreed to come over
and fight me for the WBA interim and then in the meantime the EBU
ordered us to go to purse bids.
"He'd already accepted for the WBA interim but when it went to
purse bids he tried getting me over there to France. Had I not have
had anything coming up I'd have gladly gone over, but with me being
on this big massive bill at the MEN I don't need to.
"He now won't fight me for the WBA and he knows I wasn't going
over there to fight him for the EBU so it was an easy get out for
"It just shows you the mindset of some fighters and how they try
to take easy routes. He chose that path and I'm happy to leave him
Even if opponents are hard to come by for the middleweight,
accolades are not.
Recently Murray attended The Pride of St Helen's Awards in his
home town and expected little more than a good night out, but
instead he ended up being named as 'sportsman of the year'.
"I was up against a Saints player who is a local legend and
someone I look up to. When I saw I was up against him it was
surreal and I thought there's no way I'm going to beat Wello (Paul
Wellens), but I got the nod.
"It was a happy and proud moment and I was just honoured to be
And while he is already considered to be something of a
celebrity in the Merseyside town, fulfilling his dream of becoming
a world champion would take his notoriety to a whole new level.
"That's my main aim. From the start I've had great backing from
the town but even more so now because the [Rugby] club is getting
behind me which is great," he enthused.
"I can't thank people in the town enough for the support they
show me. I want to go on and win that title, not just for myself
but also for my fans."