When Martin Murray steps in the ring this April he will be facing the world's top middleweight and one of the best boxers in the business in Sergio Martinez. To add another layer to an already sizable task, the bout will take place in Martinez's native country of Argentina. Nevertheless, Murray says that he is ready for the challenge, and that his other fights on big stages have prepared him for this moment.
Here, with World Boxing News, is what Murray had to say on his upcoming title challenge:
"It's not daunting me at all. The crowd is going to be very hostile but I'm always in the zone when I enter the ring so it makes no difference what people are doing around me. I'll just be focused on going in there and doing my job. Naturally they'll be some nerves before the fight, but that's a good thing. I always feel some nerves, I like them and I perform off them."
Murray also feels his previous fights that have taken place in front of large crowds have given him valuable experience. In 2011 he faced Felix Sturm in Sturm's backyard, Germany. Then, just this past November, he fought on the undercard of Ricky Hatton's comeback in front of an ecstatic assembly of fans.
"Those fights have been good preparation for me. Having that one in Germany and then boxing at the MEN Arena (in England) showed I can perform in front of a big audience. If I'd just been boxing in leisure centres, going into a big stadium could make me like a rabbit in headlights, but I know I always perform well on the big stage."
He added: "Martinez is easily the best middleweight in the world so obviously I'll need to raise my game to beat him but myself and my team know that's something we're very capable of doing."
Murray isn't lying when he says he will need to raise his game to beat Martinez. He's an honest fighter, but Martinez is truly one of the absolute best. However, Martinez is coming off knee surgery and will be 38 when the fight happens. There could also be some added pressure for Martinez fighting in Argentina. We have seen some men not perform as well in front of their home crowd, perhaps feeling additional pressure to "put on a show" for his fans
The fight takes place April 27, and will be televised live on HBO.