Undefeated middleweight contender Martin Murray is demanding a rematch with Germany’s ‘super’ WBA titleholder Felix Sturm following their controversial draw in Mannheim last weekend.
Many ringside were of the opinion that Sturm, the RING’s No.2-rated middleweight, was extremely fortunate to escape defeat in his own backyard after a cracking contest against the previously-unheralded Englishman.
Now Murray, from St. Helens, Merseyside, is hoping Sturm, 32, will offer him another shot early in 2012 — just as the long-standing champion did with Mathew Macklin last July amid an even more debatable split-decision victory over the Brit.
Macklin actually rejected the opportunity, preferring to hold out for a future shot at one of the division’s other beltholders. However, Murray insists he would relish a return and underlined the fact by stating he would even be willing to head back to Germany to get one.
“Sturm has proved himself to be a great champion, and a man everybody in boxing respects,“ said the 29-year-old Murray (23-0-1, 11 KOs). “After his controversial win over Macklin in the summer he offered him a rematch, but was turned down.
“I like to think that Sturm will do the same to me. Unlike Macklin, though, I will accept and go to Germany once again. Although I believe the decision was wrong, myself and my team were treated with respect all week by Sturm, his team, the German media and their fans.”
Murray’s promoter and manager Ricky Hatton is a big fan of Sturm (36-2-2, 15 KOs), who has now defended his title 11 times during his second spell as champion. The Hitman, a former two-weight holder reign, is looking to open negotiations on Sturm-Murray II as soon as possible.
“I have the utmost respect for Felix Sturm, and myself and Martin were grateful to be given a world title shot,“ Hatton said. “But I feel Felix will lose the respect of the boxing world if he doesn’t give Martin a rematch.”