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Lee Purdy describes European title challenge as ‘must win’; Murray wary of underdog’s bite at ExCeL



Lee Purdy and has vowed to show he has become a different fighter since losing to Devon Alexander when he challenges Italian Leonard Bundu for the European Welterweight title the ExCeL London on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

The Colchester man has described Saturday’s fight as a ‘must win’ and says that if he does take Bunndu’s belt he wants to put himself in a position where champions will have no choice but to fight him.

“Every fighter says it but I really am in the best shape of my life,” he said. “If there was an opponent that I could choose stylistically, then Bundo would be it. It’s going to be a cracking fight for me and the fans and I’m just really looking forward to fighting now, putting on a big show and finishing off the year with a bang.

“Obviously in my last fight against Devon Alexander I struggled with the weight a little bit but since then I’ve changed things and I’m a different fighter. You will see a different Lee Purdy on Saturday.

“I hope that I have taken enough from that fight to get me to the next level and prove a lot of doubters wrong.

“Saturday is a must win fight for me. He’s older, but a good name for me. He’s unbeaten, knows his way around the ring and stylistically I think it’s going to be a great fight. We both like to come and have a fight, so I think the fans are in for a treat.

“I have been in training for quite a while for this fight which meant I brought my weight down nice and slowly so I made the weight no problem. All the good preparation means that the crowd will see a different
animal in there tonight.

“When I win this European title it will shoot me up the rankings because of the title but also because Bundu is rated highly. So next year I’m going to be looking to fight myself into a position where champions are going to have to fight me. I believe that’s the level I should be operating at and I can’t wait to prove that to people. A win tonight will go some way to starting to do that.

“I believe I’m in the best shape both physically and mentally. I’m going to finish the year on a high.”

The stacked card at ExCeL London features 16 fights with former World Lightweight title challenger Kevin Mitchell now defending his IBF Inter-Continental title against Karim El Ouazghari after Brunet Zamora was denied exit from Italy.

Recent IBF Bantamweight king Jamie McDonnell is out for the second time in four weeks, two-time World Middleweight title challenger Martin Murray is also back in action against Sergey Khomitsky and British Super Middleweight champion Paul Smith was added to the bill earlier this week.

There are two tasty Southern Area title clashes as Tony Owen defends his Light Welterweight strap against fellow Carshalton man Ricky Boylan, and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor meets Floyd Moore for the vacant Lightweight belt. Danny Connor lost to Owen in their October meeting for the title, and he is in an eliminator for the English Light Welterweight belt against Tyler Goodjohn.

Erick Ochieng is back in action after his battle with Liam Smith for the British Light Middleweight title, moving down to Welterweight to face Welshman Dale Evans, unbeaten Super Flyweight Kal Yafai moves into double figures in the pro ranks, there’s a welcome return to the ring for unbeaten Lightweight prospect Martin J Ward and Essex Light Welterweight John Wayne Hibbert looks to build on his British Masters triumph. Cruiserweight duo Wadi Camacho and Ben Ileyemi and unbeaten Bristol Welterweight Tamuka Mucha complete the line-up.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £100 through www.seetickets.com and on 0871 230 7148. VIP packages priced £150 are available exclusively through Matchroom Boxing – www.matchroomboxing.com – or call 01277 359900.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £40, £60, £100 ringside through seetickets.com or by calling 0871 230 7148

VIP Packages priced £150 are available from matchroomboxing.com or by calling 01277 359900

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Murray wary of underdog’s bite at ExCeL

St Helens Middleweight ready for tough 2014 if he can pass Khomitsky test

Martin Murray has big plans for 2014 but knows he must first get past Belarusian Sergey Khomitsky at the ExCeL London on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Murray rematches a man he beat in 2009 as part of a stacked 16-fight card this weekend but will have to be wary of the underdog against a former sparring partner.

If he is successful an exciting New Year beckons for Murray, who has been linked with a blockbuster fight against WBA World champion Gennady Golovkin.

“I beat Khomitsky back in 2009 and I had him over for sparring in the build-up to my fight with Felix Sturm,” he said. “He’s had a lot of notice for this fight so we know he’s ready. He’s no walk-over, he’s game and he’s going to come here to look for the win. The fans will see two people in there who want to win so it should be an interesting fight.

“From sparring I know he can punch and although a few people aren’t giving him a chance, sometimes that can motivate you more to do well. But I’m looking forward to getting back out there and fighting in London is fun. I haven’t fought down there for a while so I’m looking forward to putting on a good show.

“As long as I get through this and get through it well, we’ve got some good plans for the spring. I’ve got big plans for next year. I want to stay in the mix with the elite fighters and fight for World titles and that’s what I intend to do in 2014.

“I’d definitely be up for a fight with Golovkin. I want that fight but when it comes round I want to be a big as it can be to generate the most money. If the money is right the fights are there. Golovkin is definitely someone I’m looking at as a future opponent.

“I think I can beat anyone on my day, including Golovkin, I truly believe that. He is bound to say he can’t be beaten because of the way he dealt with Matthew Macklin and there’s a lot of hype around him and rightly so. But I think that he looked better than he really is against Macklin.”

The stacked card at ExCeL London features 16 fights with former World Lightweight title challenger Kevin Mitchell facing Italian Brunet Zamora for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title while recent World Welterweight challenger Lee Purdy aims to take the European title from Italian Leonard Bundu, the fifth defence for the Lazio man.

Recent IBF Bantamweight king Jamie McDonnell is out for the second time in four weeks, Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks and British Super Middleweight champion Paul Smith was added to the bill earlier this week.

There are two tasty Southern Area title clashes as Tony Owen defends his Light Welterweight strap against fellow Carshalton man Ricky Boylan, and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor meets Floyd Moore for the vacant Lightweight belt. Danny Connor lost to Owen in their October meeting for the title, and he is in an eliminator for the English Light Welterweight belt against Tyler Goodjohn.

Erick Ochieng is back in action after his battle with Liam Smith for the British Light Middleweight title, moving down to Welterweight to face Welshman Dale Evans, unbeaten Super Flyweight Kal Yafai moves into double figures in the pro ranks, there’s a welcome return to the ring for unbeaten Lightweight prospect Martin J Ward and Essex Light Welterweight John Wayne Hibbert looks to build on his British Masters triumph. Cruiserweight duo Wadi Camacho and Ben Ileyemi and unbeaten Bristol Welterweight Tamuka Mucha complete the line-up.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £40, £60, £100 ringside and £150 VIP and are available from seetickets.com or by calling 0871 230 7148

VIP Packages priced £150 are available from matchroomboxing.com or by calling 01277 359900