Boxing


John Murray Says He Will Shock Michael Katsidis The Way Ricky Hatton Shocked Kostya Tszyu

by James Slater - Shortly after winning the European lightweight title, a victory that came a few days before the even more recent Michael Katsidis-Kevin Mitchell clash, unbeaten Manchester warrior John Murray was busy calling out the May 15th winner. And now, despite having seen what the destructive Katsidis did to Mitchell, in stopping him inside three-rounds, the 25-year-old who also holds the British lightweight title has not changed his mind one bit about getting it on with the Australian..

Murray was perhaps hoping that Mitchell would get the win last Saturday, so as to make possible a massive all-British affair between the two, but Murray has now turned all of his attention towards the WBO interim champ at 135-pounds - and the 29-0(17) two-belt champ would love nothing more than to face "The Great" at The M.E.N Arena in his native Manchester.

Speaking with The Manchester Evening News, Murray said that despite being looked at as a big underdog against a guy like Katsidis, he would do to him what his good friend Ricky Hatton did to the great Kostya Tszyu inside The M.E.N back in the summer of 2005. Murray, who would have to meet Andriy Kudriavtsev in a European mandatory in order to keep his newly acquired title, would almost certainly give that requirement a pass if his dream fight with Katsidis came up in the meantime.

"When Ricky [Hatton] fought [Kostya] Tszyu not many people gave him a chance," Murray told The Manchester Evening News this week. "But he packed out The M.E.N Arena and put in the greatest performance of his career. People aren't giving me a chance against Katsidis, but it will be Kostya Tszyu all over again."

While it would indeed be a dream come true for Murray if he got this fight, Katsidis has again made it clear he wants to face Juan Manuel Marquez for the full WBO 135-pound crown next. Providing the Mexican legend can get past former KO victim Juan Diaz in July (Diaz, of course, holds a points win over Katsidis), the Australian will push for that fight. However, Marquez may well move up to 140-pounds post-July 31st, in order to land a big, big fight there. If this is what transpires, who knows, Murray could be in luck!

But what chance would the unbeaten, exciting fighter who enjoys a good tear-up have of upsetting the 29-year-old from Toowoomba?

Murray argues that Katsidis, 27-2(22) has yet to face the best lightweight in Europe, stating that he is a better fighter than is the recently vanquished Mitchell. And Murray, while he holds no win the calibre of Mitchell's triumph over Breidis Prescott, is tough, hungry and arguably world class. And, with no disrespect aimed at Mitchell (who had, after all, only had two fights up at lightweight before going in with Katsidis), could Murray do any worse than the Essex man did this past Saturday night?

If the fight happened, Katsidis would naturally be made a big favourite going in. Having fought over in the UK twice, and having won by stoppage on both occasions, Katsidis would likely take the local man into the lion's den. But is Murray capable of rising to the occasion? As was the case with Hatton pre-Tszyu, we just don't know how good Murray is. We would definitely find out if he were to square off with the Aussie hard man who seemingly has iron in both fists!

Article posted on 21.05.2010



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