By James Slater
Tonight in his home town of Manchester, thrill-a-minute warrior John Murray, the former British and European lightweight ruler, returns to action after a two-year spell of inactivity that came about primarily due to his failing a brain scan some months back (Murray has since had an all clear). Last seen losing in a brave attempt to upset Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, Murray told Boxing News how he is “buzzing” and “very hungry” ahead of his scheduled 8-rounder with the durable (stopped just once) Michael Escobar of Nicaragua.
29-year-old Murray, 31-2(18) says he feels the two-year break has done him good.
“At one point, after failing the brain scan, I thought it was all over,” Murray told Boxing News editor Tris Dixon. “But then I got the all clear and I’ve worked hard to get going again. Now I’m buzzing. I’ve got the bit between my teeth. I’m very hungry. I think I was a little over-trained throughout my career and I felt in the last three or four fights it showed. The break has done me good. I’ve been focusing on my boxing and trying to get back to basics.”
Murray should be able to rid himself of some ring-rust on tonight’s Dave Coldwell show, as Escobar can be expected to stick around for a few rounds, maybe even see the final bell. Smaller than Murray (tonight’s bout will be fought at light-welterweight), Escobar has nonetheless shown his durability in taking all but one of his 17 pro opponents the distance.
Murray, who has already given us at least three great and memorable fights (see his battles with Rios, Kevin Mitchell and Gary Buckland) believes he has a lot yet to accomplish in his exiting career. Look for him to get at least three or four-rounds under his belt tonight and then look for his second comeback fight early next year.