Sergio Martinez vs Martin Murray will take place April 27.
As FightSaga reported a few months ago, this will be a homecoming bout of sorts for Sergio. It will be a 'showcase' event which will enable his Argentinan-based fans the opportunity to see Martinez defend his title live and in-person.
Martin Murray will attempt to play the role of spolier.
After his impressive win over then-WBC Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in September, the 38 year old Sergio Martinez is a bona fide superstar and one of the biggest names in boxing.
Expected to yield only 250,000 PPV buys, Sergio Martinez vs Chavez Jr garnered over 475,000 PPV buys and purportedly drew a live gate of $3,052,475 Million USD from 16,939 tickets sales.
Sergio Martinez, middle, raises his hands in victory following the conclusion of Martinez vs Chavez, September 15, 2012.
Courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank
Who is Martin Murray?
A professional of five years, Martin Murray is a rugged fighter who is currently ranked the No. 2 British middleweight in the world by BoxRec and No. 10 overall by the same website. Incidentally, Mathhew Macklin is the top-rated British midleweight.
At 6'0"/ 183 cm, the 30 year old Murray stands two inches taller than Martinez and is known for his grit and aggression in the ring. He gained international prominence in December 2011 when he drew with then-WBA Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm in front of the champ's adoring fans in Germany.
If you think getting a draw against Felix Sturm in Germany is no big deal, think again... Or simply ask Matthew Macklin.
Murray performed admirably and on even terms against a well-established, more experienced champion in the champ's own back yard. Can he do it again in April? Or better yet, will he manufacture the upset?
In 2008, Martin Murray earned a profile-lifting win in the fourth instalment of the popular 'Prizefighter' series and believes winning that competition was a pivotal point in his career.
"Prizefighter definitely helped spring board me to domestic success. It got me my first bit of good exposure and brought me to attention of the boxing public," Murray told FightSaga in Fall 2011.
The British fighter also told FightSaga last year he firmly believes in the good boxing can do. "I love promoting boxing to young people because it's a great sport that teaches a lot of things not just inside the ring but on the outside as well."
Murray is part of the promotional stable of Hatton Promotions, the fledgling but successful promotional outfit run by former Light Welterweight legend Ricky Hatton.
"Ricky's my promoter but also now a friend," explained Murray. "Since going with Ricky my career has gone from strength to strength and I can't thank him enough."
Why Martin Murray?
From a stylistic standpoint, it easy to understand why Murray was selected for Sergio Martinez's homecoming showcase.
Murray is an unbeaten, quality fighter but not elite-level and his aggressive, in-your-face style is tailor-made for Sergio Martinez. Nevertheless, Murray is a tough guy with well-honed skills who may do enough to make the bout entertaining but not enough offer a formidable threat.
Of course the confident Murray may beg to differ.
His unbeaten status, growing legion of fans in the United Kingdom, high-profile 'Prizefighter' win and climatic draw with Felix Sturm last year make him a marketable and respectable opponent.
If Sergio Martinez defeats Murray, as expected, look for him to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in a rematch, or Saul "Canelo" Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather next.
Martin Murray pic courtesy of MartinMurray.com