PRESS RELEASE 30/04/07
Hennessy Sports promoted John Murray is not surprised that his British lightweight rival Amir Khan rejected an offer to fight him this Saturday on potentially the biggest event in boxing history, despite the Olympic Silver medalist’s false claim that he ‘played’ with him in sparring. Undefeated Manchester star Murray, 22, will have his 21st professional fight on the undercard of the highly anticipated showdown between Oscar de la Hoya, his US co-promoter, and Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand.
Murray’s team-mate John O’Donnell, the English Welterweight champion, will also feature. ‘The Golden One,’ who has strong Irish heritage, boxes Mexico’s Christian Solano over ten rounds. The opponent for Murray, who impressed US fight fans after impressively outpointing Johnny Walker on the Lacy-Reid undercard in Florida in 2005, is set to be announced shortly.
The history making WBC World Youth Lightweight champion would have liked to have seen Khan in the opposite corner, particularly after his recent comments in the press, but he rejected the opportunity to make his US debut. Instead Khan faces Commonwealth champion Willie Limmond later this summer. I think Khan’s a complete joker,” said Murray. “He makes all these claims and then won’t back them up. I’m still waiting for an answer. When and where was this spar meant to have happened? It’s a fairy tale.
If he thinks he can play with me, he may as well prove it. If you listened to him it would be a mismatch, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t reckon he’s fought a live opponent yet.
His next fight looks like another easy touch to me. He knows I’m a tougher fighter than Willie Limmond. He has fought once in almost a year and a half, is really a super-featherweight and doesn’t hit hard. Amir is too big for Limmond.
I’m not surprised he didn’t want to fight me over here, or anywhere else for that matter. I believe he’s all talk. My promoter Mick Hennessy has told them that we want the fight and that it can happen further down the line, all he has do is step up to the plate.
In the meantime I’m going to continue a proper apprenticeship. I’m doing things the right way, where as other lightweight prospects in Britain are just fighting fringe fighters who are there in front of them to be bashed up.”
Murray has been training in the same Los Angeles gym that Oscar de la Hoya has been using since arriving in America. The Golden Boy Promotions and Hennessy Sports teams relocate to Vegas tonight.
This is what prospects should be doing,” said Murray, who is soaking up the atmosphere in America. “The experience I will be getting by boxing on such a big show will stand me in good stead for the future. I’m only 22 and there aren’t many fighters who have got this experience at this point in their careers.
There aren’t many other fighters from Britain fighting over here full stop. John and I want to show the world there are two great British fighters coming through.”
The media attention will be massive for this event. So we will be looking to put on a great performance and shine in front of everyone. We have both been on fire in the gym.
There will be a bit of nerves in there but that will make me better on the night. I’ve fought in America before and the occasion brought the best out of me. It made me sharp and I’m going to want to knock my opponent out on May 5th.”