Former British and European lightweight champion and one-time world title challenger John Murray says he's aiming to get back into the mix at 135 pounds, starting this Saturday against Anthony Crolla in what is expected to be a potential show-stealer on Matchroom and Sky Sports' April 19 bill.
Murray (33-2, 20 KO) has fought just twice since being out-brawled by Brandon Rios in December 2011, most recently demolishing undersized John Simpson on March 1 in Glasgow. Murray's career nearly ended when a brain scan showed signs of a swollen pituitary gland, but he's since been cleared to fight again, obviously.
"I think I deserve a world title fight. If I beat Crolla, I think the next fight should be a world title fight. I have shown I am world class against Brandon Rios, I know I have had a break but that break wasn't down to me, it was down to the brain scan. It was out of my hands but I have been in the gym working hard.
"I put on a devastating display against John Simpson and proved that I am still a contender. If I beat Crolla I will prove I am deserving of a world title shot, and I hope I get that."
Murray is an exciting, tough fighter who always brings the action and has little regard for defense, and he gave a decent showing against Rios, who was a similar fighter but just better at that sort of thing, not to mention Rios didn't actually make weight.
The lightweight division is relatively open at this point. The titleholders are Miguel Vazquez (IBF), Terence Crawford (WBO), Omar Figueroa (WBC), and Richard Abril (WBA). Three of those guys would be heavily favored to outbox Murray, but I wouldn't turn down a Figueroa-Murray fight, nor would I count Murray out if that one were to be made. And there just aren't that many interesting contenders, meaning that should Murray look good against Crolla (27-4-1, 10 KO), he probably could get back into the world title picture soon.
Do you think Murray has a shot at another serious charge at a world title?