Martin Murray will have a world title shot of sorts in his next bout, as he'll face Australia's Jarrod Fletcher on February 1 in Monte Carlo for the "vacant" WBA "regular" middleweight title, while Gennady Golovkin defends his newly adopted WBA "super" title in the main event against Osumanu Adama.
In theory, this is setting up for a Golovkin-Murray showdown later in 2014, a fight that has been discussed a bit already. Golovkin and Murray are both, quite frankly, in a bit soft here, Golovkin staying busy with a showcase sort of fight between HBO dates, and Murray perhaps getting a tune-up in with an audition bout.
Murray (26-1-1, 11 KO) fought twice this year, first traveling to Argentina and coming up heartbreakingly and questionably short in a great performance against WBC champ Sergio Martinez, a fight a lot of people thought Murray truly won. This past Saturday, he returned and looked a little rusty against 39-year-old veteran Sergey Khomitsky, a journeyman-level fighter who is tough but shouldn't have given Murray much trouble at all. Murray won 77-75 on points in eight rounds. (It was actually their second fight. Murray beat Khomitsky on points in 2009, 77-73.)
You might recall Fletcher (17-1, 10 KO) from a bout with Billy Joe Saunders in September 2012, which Saunders won in two rounds. Fletcher has been good at the domestic level in Australia, but Saunders proved far too much for him to handle. That said, if Murray is off his game, which is entirely possible, Fletcher could be more trouble than expected. That's why they fight the fights. On paper, though, this is a soft touch, and a way to perhaps set up that Golovkin-Murray fight.