Martin Murray, who will challenge Billy Joe Saunders for his WBO belt in April, has said if he doesn’t win a world title this year he will retire.
Saunders’ WBO belt will be on the line against Murray at a yet to be announced venue, whilst Terry Flanagan will face Maurice Hooker for the 140lb version of the WBO belt on the same card.
This will be Murray’s fifth attempt at world honours, having previously lost out to the like of Sergio Martinez in Buenos Aries in a close bout and against Gennady Golovkin in Monaco, among others.
Saunders is coming off a fantastic display, where he outclassed David Lemieux in Montreal, whereas Murray is on a two-fight winning streak after losing out to George Groves in 2016.
Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News on the announcement of the fight, Murray said:
“The thing is now with me, the opportunities are drying up and if it doesn’t happen for me this year I think I’ll hang the gloves up and call it a day.
“The thing is I’ve got so much going on outside of boxing with other events I’ve got going on.”
This is very likely to be Murray’s last chance at world title level and Saunders will be a big favourite going into the fight, especially after his last display – which was arguably a career-best performance.
Murray conceded to WBN that Saunders “is one of the slickest boxers out there” so will be very aware of the challenge that awaits him in April.
The challenge posed by Murray is never an insignificant one, so Saunders will know not to be complacent.
When talking about his chances of winning a belt Murray said: “I could have arguably been a world champion at two weights – so I’ve proved I belong at world level.”
A venue announcement for the world title double header and ticket details will be forthcoming soon, with the fight being shown live on BT Sports and BoxNation in the UK.
Thomas Davison is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Thomas on Twitter @thomasdavison93