Martin Murray may be overlooked, but insists he's not overmatched

Kevin Iole
Boxing
World Boxing Council middleweight defending champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez of Argentina and challenger Martin Murray of Britain exchange punches during their title bout at Jose Amalfitani stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Juan MabromataJUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images

BOX-ARG-UK-MARTINEZ-MURRAY

World Boxing Council middleweight defending champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez of Argentina and challenger Martin Murray of Britain exchange punches during their title bout at Jose Amalfitani stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Juan MabromataJUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images

Martin Murray would be the first to admit he's never faced anyone quite like Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. That's hardly a secret, though.

Golovkin, who holds the WBA and interim WBC middleweight titles, is one of boxing's fastest-rising stars. He's 31-0 with 28 knockouts and rapidly gaining recognition as one of the finest fighters in the world, regardless of weight class.

"He was a great amateur, he's been a great pro, he can punch, he's got range, his movements in the ring are good," Murray said. "He's been a monster in that ring. He's very good at what he does."

But Murray also believes that Triple-G has never met anyone quite like him in the ring, either.

The two elite middleweights will square off Saturday in an HBO-televised bout from Monte Carlo, and Murray insists he won't be overwhelmed by the moment. He's not showing up for a paycheck, though he has three children and the check will clearly come in handy.

This is his third crack at a world title. He drew with Felix Sturm, then lost to Sergio Martinez during a downpour in Argentina in 2013. Those experiences have helped shape the 32-year-old Briton.

SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 15: Gennady Golovkin poses for a portrait during an open media workout on October 15, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 15: Gennady Golovkin poses for a portrait during an open media workout on October 15, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)

"I think I'm the best boxer he's come across," said Murray, who is 29-1-1 with 12 knockouts. "I believe I'm the best technical boxer he'll have faced. Obviously that's a plus for my side in terms of the fight. I'm very versatile as a fighter and I can adapt to all different situations. I find a way to work an opponent out, and the fact that I'm so versatile I think gives me a big edge."

He's fortunate that he went through the build-up for the Martinez fight, because that was held in Argentina, Martinez's home country, amid much pomp and circumstance. Martinez came home a conquering hero after defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas, and nearly 50,000 of his countrymen showed up to cheer him on against Murray.

Martinez won a unanimous decision, but Murray put him on the deck and was far more competitive than many suspected he might be.

The experience gave Murray an insight into boxing at the top level, and how to prepare and what was important.

"It's kept me more grounded and I learned a lot from that scenario," he said.

His biggest asset is his mobility. He's got much better than average footwork and is good at darting in and out. Golovkin is such a powerful puncher that it's allways dangerous to stand in front of him, as Matthew Macklin tried to do, but that's not Murray's style.

If he's going to win, he'll have to frustrate Golovkin, never let him get his feet set and keep a jab in the champion's face.

What Murray won't do is follow Macklin's lead, and not just in style. Golovkin knocked Macklin out in the first with a massive body shot.

"To be totally honest with you, I think Macklin was kind of beaten before he ever got in there," Murray said.

Murray, though, insists he's going to make the ring walk believing he's 36 minutes or less from becoming world champion. And though he has great respect for Golovkin, he knows that upsets can and do happen.

He's facing Golovkin less than two weeks after the 25th anniversary of Buster Douglas' mammoth upset of Mike Tyson.

"I'm going out there confident, believing in myself and knowing that I have what it takes and I've done what I need to do to win this fight," Murray said. "I just can't wait until [fight time] arrives."

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