MARTIN MURRAY achieved his lifelong ambition to win the British middleweight title on Saturday night and roared: “Bring on the best”.
The St Helens captured the vacant crown when brave challenger Nick Blackwell was pulled by his corner out after five rounds. Murray, now unbeaten in 23 fights was dominant throughout the battle and is now anxious close in on fellow world class Britons Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin who were ringside in Wigan.
Murray, 28, believes the secret to becoming a world champ is a special relationship with trainer, Oliver Harrison. He said: “Me and Oliver are going all the way together. To continue that path we had to beat Nick Blackwell and we did that.
“The tactics he works out for everyone in the gym is spot on and it really is an eye opener. “I am lucky to have him my corner. I just admire Oliver as a bloke and a coach.” Blackwell, 20, was bidding to become one of the youngest British champions ever, but apart from a good first round the Trowbridge prospect couldn’t handle Martin’s power and relentless pressure.
Murray who also retained his Commonwealth crown and WBA inter-continental titles added: “No disrespect to him. I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did.
“I thought I might have done him sooner, but I didn’t feel 100 per-cent myself. I felt him tiring and Oliver said inside six rounds and he was right.”
“I’m very happy to have three belts and I am ready to move on.”
Blackwell who lost for the first time in nine fights was distraught at the corner’s decision, but nobody could complain at the act of compassion and he will come again.
Manchester Olympian Joe Murray stretched his unbeaten run to 11 wins and claimed his first pro title in front of the packed Robin Park Arena crowd.
‘Genius’ Joe lifted the IBF international featherweight title outpointing gutsy Scot James Ancliff 120-110. 120-109 and 118-111.
British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla floored Belgian Herve De Luca three times in round one forcing Terry O’Connor to step in at 2 mins 59 seconds.Ends