Murray (32-3-1, 15KO) will face Groves (23-3, 18KO) in a WBA eliminator at London’s O2 Arena as chief support to Anthony Joshua vs Dominic Breazeale, knowing full well that defeat could end his world title aspirations.
The 33-year old is on the hunt for a fifth world title shot having previously fallen agonisingly short. In those four world title attempts, Murray – who moved up to super middleweight twelve months ago – fought away from home in Argentina, Monaco and Germany twice. Now though, he is delighted to finally have a major fight on British soil.
“I’m over the moon to have the fight with Groves confirmed and it’s great to be in a big fight in the UK and on a massive show in London. I think that’s where my career has suffered a bit, not having the big domestic fights at home so I’m very excited,” The St Helens fighter – who is preparing for a tune-up fight on May 7 – exclusively told World Boxing News.
“It will be chief support to Joshua, but it’s a fight that could easily top the bill itself. It doesn’t bother me that it’s not headlining, it’s a massive fight regardless and it’s a very even and intriguing contest, potentially a fight of the year. These are the fights that I want and I’m expecting a war.”
Despite the fight taking place in Groves’ hometown of London, Murray is not expecting a hostile atmosphere from the potentially partisan crowd, focussing more on what is a career-defining fight.
He said: “Groves is a good fighter and he is starting to get back into his stride, gaining confidence with each fight. He dealt with his last two opponents easily and even though they didn’t throw much back, he showed that he is a level above.
“It’s two lads putting it all on the line in a make or break fight and we both know what a loss can do to our careers. The winner goes on to big money fights and can be a major player in the division, while the loser goes backwards and probably won’t get the chance again.
“I can’t even contemplate defeat and I know I have so much more to give. I’m 33 but have only been a pro for eight years and haven’t been in many wars up to now. I’m physically and mentally just getting into my prime and I honestly think that I will beat Groves.
“He will have his fans and I will have my army of supporters so I think it will be even in the crowd. Joshua fights are more of an event now anyway, so you get a lot of casual fans going who don’t know too much about boxing and just want to see a good fight. The hardcore fans are the same so I’m not expecting much hostility.”
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123