sport

Murray handed another chance

Martin Murray will attempt to make it third time lucky after being granted another shot at a portion of the world middleweight title in 2014.

The St Helens fighter has fallen short in his two previous attempts, controversially drawing against then-WBA champion Felix Sturm in December 2011 before being edged out on points by Sergio Martinez for the WBC crown in April this year.

Murray (26-1-1, 11KOs) rebounded from that close loss with an uninspiring eight-round decision victory over the lightly-regarded Sergey Khomitsky last weekend, and has been lined up to face Jarrod Fletcher in Monte Carlo on February 1 for the WBA 'regular' title, with Gennady Golovkin upgraded to the governing body's 'super' champion.

"I've been unlucky before so I'm made up that I've got this opportunity on February 1," Murray said on his promoters' official website, hattonboxing.com.

"Jarrod Fletcher is a good kid. I've not seen too much of him, but we'll be working on that now we've got a date. He's got a good pedigree and he beat James DeGale in the amateurs, which isn't easy and proves he's a good fighter.

"He's going to be well up for this, but I think I'll be the favourite and rightly so, given who I've fought before and how I've done against them.

"It's going to be interesting for both of us, but I want everyone to know that there's no way I'm coming home to St Helens without that world title."

Fletcher's only professional loss in 18 contests came in September last year when he was stopped in the second round by Murray's British compatriot Billy Joe Saunders, with the Australian winning his last five contests since.