AS he reached yet another notable milestone in an unbeaten professional career, middleweight boxer Martin Murray still found time to praise the man who was instrumental in paving the way for his phenomenal rise in the sport... the late John Chisnall.
The Sky Sports cameras beamed in on the 28-year-old St Helens boxer after he had added the vacant British title to his hard-earned Commonwealth and WBA Inter-Continental belts by forcing Trowbridge’s Nick Blackwell to quit at the end of their gruelling contest in Wigan on Saturday, and his first thoughts turned to John – his ex-trainer at the Glass Boxing Gym in the borough.
Now he will be throwing down the gauntlet to two other high-flying British middleweights, ‘Tipperary Tornado’ Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker, both ringside guests of Sky on the night, and who had the temerity to insist they had bigger challenges ahead than Murray, and felt he hadn’t beaten anyone of note.
Whether they are prepared to square up to Murray in the future remains to be seen, but former world champion Ricky Hatton, of Hatton Promotions, said: “There is great rivalry between the three, and Martin is catching up the other two.”
Let’s hope he overtakes them as quickly as possible and, like St Helens-born former British light middleweight champ Gary Stretch, boxes for a world title.
THERE were many glum-looking Saints’ fans heading home after Friday night’s drubbing at the hands of Wigan Warriors, and I can sympathise.
Derby games invariably demand a performance of pride and passion among the player, and while Wigan weren’t lacking in this area, Saints seemed flat and unable to raise their game to an acceptable level.
It is difficult to find a satisfactory explanation, other than to grudgingly accept that Warriors were dominant on the night and tactically superior.
A bitter and almost unacceptable pill to swallow, but on this occasion true.