Past jail time halts Murray’s title bid

Boxer Martin Murray

Boxer Martin Murray

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BOXER Martin Murray has been forced to pull out of his WBC world middleweight title challenge against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr because of delays obtaining a US visa.

The British, Commonwealth and WBA inter-continental champion, 29, had been lined up to challenge the Mexican in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, June 16. But, because Murray spent time in prison when he was younger, his past has caused delays in obtaining a visa rubber-stamped in time for a press tour later this month – and the fight is now off.

Murray said: “To be told I cannot box Chavez Jr because of my past is gut-wrenching. I couldn’t have done any more to turn my life around over the last seven years and I hope the fight can still happen at a later date.”

Murray will now concentrate on defending his titles and hopes to add another Lonsdale belt this summer.

His only blemish in 24 fights was a thrilling draw against WBA super champion Felix Sturm in December in which Murray proved himself a world-class fighter.

Promoter Ricky Hatton said: “This is a sledgehammer blow for Martin and his team, but everyone at Hatton Promotions will work to get him another world title fight.”