Murray ready to shine against Bethea

03.05.07 - Hennessy Sports lightweight John Murray is looking forward to putting on a show against Lorenzo Bethea on the undercard of the highly anticipated clash between Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday. The 22-year-old from Manchester will box over eight rounds against the American, who had been due to meet the highly rated Philadelphian prospect Rock Allen. The match was a natural when Allen was forced to withdraw from the event..

Murray’s Hennessy Sports teammate John O’Donnell, the other half of Britain’s ‘Golden Pair,’ also features on arguably the biggest event in boxing history. The former Junior Olympic Gold Medallist and current English welterweight champion boxes tough Mexican Christian Solano over ten.

Manchester’s Murray has boxed on the other side of the pond before. He left the crowd cheering his name when he dominated Johnny Walker in Florida in 2005 and stood out again when he stopped Tyrone Wiggins in Canada last year.

In 2005 he became the first ever British fighter to win a WBC Youth Title and was named as the Boxing Writers’ Club Young Boxer of the Year 2006. He sees Saturday as another opportunity to impress.

“I’m loving being part of such a big event,” said Murray, who will be co-promoted by de la Hoya whenever he boxes in America. “I thrive off the big occasion. Of course there will be some nerves, but that will just make me sharper on the night.

“Bethea’s going to be looking forward to it as well. Boxing on a show like this will mean as much to him as it does to me.

“He was boxing anyway so he is going to be in shape. He has known since the weekend that he is fighting me, so it’s not like he’s coming in cold. He’s going to be up for it.

“But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to put on a show. All the media’s attention is going to be on the event and it’s a chance for me to make a statement. I want him coming to fight.”

Murray’s preparation has ensured he will be prime condition for the encounter in the Mecca of boxing.

“I couldn’t have had a better build up,” he said. “I’ve been working in the gym with John O’Donnell and earlier this week I sparred Shane Mosley at Oscar de la Hoya’s gym. It doesn’t come much better than that does it?

“I’m on a high right now; I’m loving every minute of the experience. I’ve fought over here before and I have slotted back into the old routine easily.

“We travelled last week, so I have had plenty of time to adjust. The time difference doesn’t cause me any problems anyway.

“Thanks to Golden Boy Promotions we have had access to the best facilities and my training has been bang on. I’m in great shape. I just can’t wait to get in there now.”

Article posted on 03.05.2007

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