John Murray and Kevin Mitchell are both eyeing a fight with Brandon Rios after the classy WBA World lightweight champion scored a third round KO at the weekend.
Promoter Frank Warren has already opened talks with Rios’ promoter Bob Arum over a meeting between the world ruler and his two lightweights.
And the fight could be even bigger after Rios’ win on Saturday against Urbano Antillon in California.
Manchester ace Murray is ranked number four in The Ring lightweight rankings, while Rios is number one and Antillon was at number eight.
Now the attention turns to the UK, with Mitchell and Murray meeting for the WBO Intercontinental lightweight title on Frank Warren’s huge July 16 event at the Liverpool Echo Arena, live on Sky Sports 1HD.
“I’ve seen Rios’ fight at the weekend and he looks like a great champion,” said unbeaten Murray who went through a media work-out at his gym in Hyde today.
“I’ve always said that I want to fight the best, and I’d love to take him on next.
“I’m going to make a big statement in this fight to the rest of the champions in the division to sit up and take notice.
“Once I get this fight with Mitchell out of the way, I’ve then cleaned up domestically and I want to fight for a world title and Rios would be an ideal opponent.
“I’ve been to America before and fought over there, so I’ve got no problem going to the US if that’s what it takes to get this fight with Rios on.”
Mitchell added: “Murray can talk up a fight between himself and Rios all he likes, but he’s got to get past me first.
“I’m going to knock him out on Saturday, so he can kiss goodbye to his dream of becoming a world champion.
“Rios looks like an all-action fighter, so a fight between me and him would be an absolute classic.
“He’s a genuine world champion, and like John I want to fight the best, so why not Rios?
Mitchell v Murray features on a blockbuster card that is headlined by Ricky Burns’ WBO World Super-Featherweight title defence against Nicky Cook; Tony Bellew’s Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight title defence and challenge for the vacant British title against Ovill McKenzie; Frankie Gavin’s WBO Intercontinental Welterweight title defence against Curtis Woodhouse, plus a massive undercard.
Remaining tickets, priced at £50, £80 and £100, are available on the Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com