Exclusive Interview With John Murray - ďIíll Be In Brandon Riosí Face All Night long!Ē

By James Slater: Manchester warrior John Murray, 31-1(18) admits he was surprised when he got the call telling him he had the next shot at WBA lightweight Champ Brandon Rios; but the teak-tough 26-year-old promises he will absolutely make the most of his Dec. 3rd chance.

Murray, coming off a stoppage loss to fellow Brit Kevin Mitchell (in a thriller), is confident he will shock the odds when he gets in there with the unbeaten Rios.

Very kindly taking the time to speak with me today, the former British and European lightweight champ had the following things to say:

James Slater: Itís great to be able to speak with you, John. Obviously everyoneís talking about this huge fight you have coming up with Brandon Rios. Itís still quite a while away, but how has training been going so far for December 3rd?

John Murray: Itís been going really well. Obviously Iíve changed trainers; I split with Joe Gallagher - but the training couldnít have gone any better. Iím really enthusiastic and Iím working on certain things in the gym. There were a lot of fighters at Joeís gym, and even though we all work hard, he was so busy switching from fighter to fighter, certain technical things got left undone maybe. You know, Joe is a very busy man; with so many fighters to concentrate on. But now, at my new gym, I have one-on-one attention. I feel Iím improving and this is the best Iíve felt for a long time.

J.S: A lot of people seem to think Brandon Rios will be the next big thing. Do you rate him as highly, as the best lightweight out there - or do you think there may be a bit of hype attached to him?

J.M: I think he is ranked number-one; now that [Juan Manuel] Marquez has moved up. So yeah, he is regarded as the best. But style-wise, I think heís perfect for me. I think this fight will be a cracking fight while it lasts. Iím so excited for this fight; I want to prove that I am world class.

J.S: Were you surprised when this fight came up, seeing as you did lose to Kevin Mitchell?

J.M: Yes, I was very surprised. I thought Iíd be [left] in boxing wonderland, and have to go back to the drawing board - I didnít know what Frank [Warren] would have for me. But I was back in the gym straight away, and Iíd done five weeks in the gym when I found out about the [Rios] fight. As I say, I think this fight is perfect for me. Thursday I will start sparring and this fight has got my juices going. I feel like Iíve come out a winner [from the Mitchell defeat], in that Iíve changed trainers, got a new start and now this big world title chance. That loss has done a lot for me. If it wasnít for that loss Iíd still have the same attitude. But now Iíve learnt; I canít just go in and take shots. Iíve got to pace myself. As I say, Iím working on things in the gym.

J.S: Is Rios as good as they say then? I know heís a fighter you had on your radar even before the Mitchell fight was signed.

J.M: Heís very good, no doubt. Heís stopped his last ten, he hits hard and he puts his shots together. But he is a bit untested, as heís yet to go 12-rounds. All I know is, Iíll prepare myself to be the very best I can be. I truly believe I can beat Rios. Iíve seen him over the years, on SKY and on You Tube, and I know what heís all about. Iím so ready to go out there and shock everyone by winning this.

J.S: He has said he admires your style, in that you will give him a war. Do you feel this fight will be about who is toughest, as opposed to who is the better boxer? Will this be a battle of the toughest in your opinion?

J.M: Yeah. Weíll see who is the toughest. We both know what weíre about, we both out-tough our opponents. Iíve always come out on top in those type of fights apart from the last one, and Iíve always dreamt of having those Gatti-Ward, Barrera-Morales- type fights. Iíve always given the fans exciting fight and I canít see why this one will be any different. Iíll be in tip-top shape for this fight.

J.S: Do you feel Rios may be underestimating you? He has already spoken of moving up to face guys like Marcos Maidana?

J.M: Possibly, but heíd be very unwise to do so. Heíll pay the price on the night if he has, because heíll be shocked at how strong I am and how willing I am. Iíll be in his face all night long!

J.S: And youíve fought in America before, so thatís no issue for you?

J.M: Not at all. My careerís been leading up to this fight; this type of chance. Iíve gone to the U.S before and Iíve had a practice run by fighting there. Now that Iím used to it, it will stand me in good stead for this fight; it wonít be anything new. Like I said, Iím ultra-confident for this fight. I know Iím a massive underdog, but I tell you, Iíll be worth every penny if you have a bet! Iím so sure Iím going to pull this off. I have no prediction, other than to say Iíll got for him. If a KO comes it comes, but Iíll be ready to fight 12 very hard rounds to win this.

J.S: Best of luck for the fight, John. It will go out on BoxNation?

J.M: Thatís right.

J.S: Youíll score a great British away win - up there with Honeyghan-Curry, etc - if you can do this! Fingers crossed youíll be bringing the WBA lightweight title home with you!

J.M: Thanks a lot mate.

Article posted on 20.10.2011

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