Undefeated European lightweight champion John Murray has targeted a world title showdown with new boxing star Brandon Rios. The heavy-handed American lifted the World Boxing Association (WBA) World lightweight title on Saturday night with a 10th round stoppage of Miguel Acosta.
And Murray has put the unbeaten 24-year-old to the top of his hit list.
The pair were pencilled to meet for the WBC Youth lightweight title a few years ago and more recently an eliminator for the world title, but now a meeting at 135 pounds could be a much bigger fight.
Also, Murray is positioned at number six in the Ring Magazine lightweight rankings, just one spot below Rios.
“Rios is a real quality operator, and his unbeaten record shows that and he’s the kind of fighter I would love to face,” said the Mancunian.
“He strong, come-forward, throwing plenty of bombs and looks to walk you down, and matched against my all-action style it would be one explosive fight.
“I’m glad that he’s won the world title because it lines up a cracking fight between me and him down the line.
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to be a world champion, and if I’m going to do that, then Rios is the kind of guy I need to beat.
The red-hot 26-year-old – who has the longest undefeated run in British boxing at 30 wins – signed terms with top promoter Frank Warren earlier this year.
Murray added, “I’ll fight anyone out there and I mean it,”
“I threw my name into the hat for a fight against Amir Khan and was willing to step up a weight to do it, but instead he chose Paul McCloskey.
“I also agreed to come to London to fight Kevin Mitchell in his own backyard, so I don’t think anyone can question my desire to fight the big names out there.”