World-rated middleweight Martin Murray began sparring on Friday in anticipation of his October 25 showdown against perennial contender Domenico Spada on the Golden Gloves “Title Tornado” tournament in Monte Carlo.
Murray, rated #1 by the WBC and #3 by the IBF, is engaged in a 10-week training camp under the guidance of trainer Oliver Harrison designed to have him in peak condition for his second outing in the principality.
Murray has been promised a world title bout in February – provided he overcomes the 44-fight battler from Italy. Spada is 39-5 (19 KOs).
Spada, who has fought the likes of Marco Antonio Rubio, Darren Barker and Sebastian Zbik, has won seven of his last eight and is determined to re-enter the title picture by upsetting the man from St Helens in the UK.
“He’s very experienced, you can’t buy that,” said Murray (28-1-1, 12 KOs) from his home. “He’ll fight anyone at any time. What you see is what you get with Spada. He hasn’t got a nice style, but he’s game and comes to win. He’s a tough fighter and he’ll love fighting in Monte Carlo, which will be like his back yard as he lives in Rome.
“He’s gonna come in good condition; he’s got a point to prove. I’m expecting the best, but I’m a level above.”
Given that he is on the cusp of a championship shot, Murray knows that he cannot produce anything less than an outstanding performance next month. “This is why I’m not looking past Spada,” he says. “I’m approaching this like a world title. Whichever Spada turns up, though, I will beat all day long.”
Murray is intrigued by the movement in the middleweight division, much of it remarkable. There is IBF holder Sam Soliman’s on-again off-again fight with Jermain Taylor (who is accused of shooting his cousin), WBA champion Gennady Golovkin’s looming fight with Rubio, Peter Quillin’s decision to vacate the WBO belt and WBC champion Miguel Cotto’s plan not to fight until 2015.
Murray has myriad options, but knows that they will come to naught unless he wins in Monte Carlo.
“The boxing is going really well. I felt I did pretty good against Max Bursak in June and I’ll be looking to do even better against Spada. If I get through this, there’s a world title and that’s the aim.”
Murray has had two title shots in recent years, in the first instance drawing with then-WBA champion Felix Sturm and then, last April, losing a controversial decision to then-WBC champion Sergio Martinez.
Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman, who looks after Murray, is excited at the possibilities.
“The thing no-one can deny about Martin is his boxing smarts. He’s very slick and skilled. There might be bigger punchers out there and more rugged middleweights, but there are few who are smarter than him. He’s well placed to get a title shot, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. First he has a job to do in Monte Carlo where the Barmy Army will be in full voice backing their man.”
The “Title Tornado” card includes WBA/IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler’s title defence against Xiong Zhao Zhong of China, the IBF title fight between Randy Caballero of the US and Stuart Hall of the UK and the WBC Silver light-heavyweight fight between unbeaten prospects Ryno Liebenberg of South Africa and Eleider Alvarez of Colombia.
Known as one of the most exclusive vacation destinations in the world and situated on the Mediterranean Sea in South West Europe, Monaco attracts millions of visitors each year. The Casino de Monte-Carlo, owned and operated by the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, is the premiere casino destination in Europe. The Casino de Monte-Carlo continues to attract some of the wealthiest and most well-known celebrities and aristocrats throughout the world.
This world class event is exclusively distributed internationally by leading boxing rights distributor and sports marketing firm, Octapixx LIVE. The company is presently in conversation with top broadcasters worldwide to ensure that the October 25 telecast can be seen by sports fans everywhere.