By Craig Watt
Following the impressive four round stoppage of Jon Thaxton in Altringham, Manchester at the weekend, unbeaten lightweight contender John Murray (28-0, 16 KO’s) from Manchester, England issued a challenge to Australian WBO interim champion Michael Katsidis. He stated after the win: “Jon was the only person in Britain that could challenge me but it’s time for me to move on. Katsidis is on my radar and that’s a fight I fancy.”
In 2006 Murray was awarded the prestigous Young Boxer of the Year Award in the UK and has impressed in his unbeaten run of 28 fights to date and is on the fringe of the world rankings. The win against Thaxton secured Murray the British Lightweight Title and he has ambitions for future honours in the near future.
In a response to the challenge issued by Murray, Australian Michael Katsidis contacted Fightnews direct and gave his response via an open letter on the situation.
“I have just heard reports of a challenge coming from John Murray out of England and in return I acknowledge and give this response…
It is with great honour I can acknowledge the oncoming challenges. As champion of the WBO I must honour my commitment to fight against one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport today, Juan Manuel Marquez. It is my obligation, it is my duty to fight the very best with the highest claim to the title. Other than fighting the best I will not look any further. Although it is hard to look past the experience I had in a packed Wembley Arena when I fought Graham Earl for the World Lightweight Crown. For two years I have dreamt of fighting there again but this time returning with two thirds of the house full of my own fan base. I could hear a needle drop when Graham first hit the canvas in our fight. That night I salvaged a bit of Australia’s pride avenging the loss we had when Kostya Tszyu fell to England’s own Ricky Hatton. Even still it wasn’t too long ago a fight between Ricky and myself was a possible ! One thing is for sure, I fight the best, I look no further than Juan Manual Marquez…. although in the chance there is an opportunity to create a fight that will draw Australia to England’s shores and turn the heads of the rest of the world …. don’t lose my number! You may get your wish ! “
Australian Katsidis impressed in his last fight last month when he secured the WBO interim lightweight title with a points win over Vincente Escobedo in Las Vegas.