12.07.04 - STEVE MURRAY has joined heavyweight stablemate Danny Williams in America to prepare for his British Lightweight title challenge on Friday 30 July at the York Hall. Murray was told by his trainer Jimmy McDonnell to join him and Williams -- who takes on Mike Tyson on the same night in Kentucky -- at New York’s legendary Gleeson’s gym.

The Harlow puncher will train for two weeks alongside Williams before returning to England to finalise preparations as he seeks revenge over reigning champion Graham Earl.

Murray, who has KO’d 15 out of his 23 wins, said, “They say change is as good as a rest and I think that this trip will make all the difference this time round when I face Earl. I wasn’t right when I fought him last year, there were a lot of things going on outside the ring but by making this trip to America I have made big sacrifices which will pay off. I’m getting top training and the best sparring. Out here there are no distractions, I just train and sleep,”

The 28-year-old suffered a shock second round stoppage to Earl over a year ago in a Southern Area lightweight title challenge which also served as a final eliminator for the British title. That victory earned Earl a shot at then champion Bobby Vanzie who he dethroned in a controversial encounter.

After a short lay off, he returned to the ring in explosive style in January this year and stopped Jimmy Beech in four rounds. He followed that up with a victory over Martin Watson in a thriller in April.

This will be Murray’s second shot at the British title after losing to Vanzie in May 2001 despite flooring the Bradford loudmouth twice.

Murray continued, “The only thing on my mind is beating Earl. I want to prove to people that it was not the Steve Murray that everybody knows in the ring that night and the real Steve Murray will be in action on July 30,”

He added, “I came so close to beating Vanzie in my first British title challenge and I think that the opportunity against Earl has come at a great time. Earl didn’t look too impressive in his rematch with Vanzie last month and he hasn’t really improved as a fighter whereas I have come on tremendously and I believe you will be looking at the new champion on the night,”

He finished by saying, “Takaloo will also be coming out to join us and Danny is happy that his gym mates are with him. He’s got a tough night’s work ahead of him but he is looking sensational in sparring against some of the top American boys and I believe that he can beat Tyson,”

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Article posted on 12.07.2004

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