Martin Murray says that if the judging were fair in Argentina last Saturday night, he'd have beaten Sergio Martinez for the world middleweight championship. But the 30-year-old British contender isn't getting down over the loss, choosing to look at it as a springboard performance:
"I'd love the chance to fight Martinez again, but there's no way I'll get the opportunity," Murray said. "Martinez is amongst the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world and I had him down twice, bossed him and lost a very close debatable decision in his own backyard so I think I've proven I belong at world level.
"I'm obviously gutted that I'm not taking that belt home with me but I'm happy and proud that I can leave Argentina with my head held high knowing that I represented (hometown) St. Helens and Great Britain."
Murray (25-1-1, 11 KO) knows that Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO) won't come back in 2014, after fixing up a broken hand and a re-injured knee, looking to get a more emphatic win over him. The best he can do is use this performance to get himself another big fight, perhaps domestically with someone like Darren Barker or Matthew Macklin in the UK, or maybe even something like a shot at Daniel Geale.
Without question, with this fight and his debated draw in 2011 against then-WBA titlist Felix Sturm, Murray has established himself as a legit contender at 160 pounds, and some believe he should be the champ right now. His career, despite the loss, is headed in the right direction.