THIS year promises plenty for British, Commonwealth and WBA Intercontinental middleweight champion Martin Murray.
The St Helens fighter is currently enjoying a relaxing New Year break with his family, having just returned from honeymoon recently having tied the knot with long-time girlfriend Gemma.
The idyllic wedding ceremony surroundings of a Caribbean cruise must have seemed a million miles away from the world title battle Murray starred in days earlier in Germany.
On December 2, Murray was in Mannheim’s plush SAP Arena, in front of 15,000 bloodthirsty home fans, hoping to wrestle Felix Sturm’s WBA World middleweight belt away from the champion against all the odds. Murray was all but written off going into the fight, but a heroic, breath-taking performance over 12 gruelling rounds in Sturm’s backyard helped secure an unbelievably dramatic draw.
Murray said: “The Sturm fight was very close, as everyone could see.
“I’ve now had a chance to watch the DVD and there was very little in it.
“I knew full well it would be a tough one for me to take on, and that’s exactly how it panned out.
“I was gutted I didn’t win again, but at the same time if I’d have lost it probably would have spoilt my wedding.
“I have to be happy though, as I’ve now proved myself on the world stage and I’ve proved a lot of doubters wrong.
“I learned so much from the whole experience in Germany, so once the Christmas period is over, I’ll be knuckling down to hard training again and we’ll see what 2012 brings.
“It’s exciting for me. I want a world title now and I know I’m capable of achieving that before too long.
“I’ve had a lovely family Christmas,” added Murray.
“I trained so hard for the Sturm fight so after it, I felt I deserved a month off.
“Once the Christmas period is over though, I’ll be straight back into it and I’ll be working harder than ever.”