By Wolfgang Schiffbauer
Photos by Sturm Box-Promotion
WBA Middleweight Super World Champion Felix Sturm (36-2-1, 15 K.o.’s) and undefeated challenger Martin Murray (23-0, 10 K.o.’s) from Great Britain came face-to-face today at the final press conference in front of their Friday night world title clash at the SAP-Arena in Mannheim, Germany. The fighters exchanged some words and both promised victory.
“This fight will be special”, Sturm, 31, promised, “I’ve never felt so good before. If I’m at my best, I will be very hard to beat for anyone out there.” The 29-year old Murray was full of respect for the WBA champ but not shy of big words either: “Sturm is a great and deserving champion but on Friday night, his time will come to end. I will dominate him. I will beat him. And I will grab his title.” His manager Neil Marsh added: “Felix made a huge mistake in choosing this fight. Martin is in tip-top shape and he won’t miss this opportunity. His time has come.” Things heated up a bit at the presser afterwards but only words were exchanged.
“I have learned from my mistakes,” Sturm said in regard of his last fight in June against Matthew Macklin, who, by the way, predicted a knockout victory for the champion, “Every great champion had a bad fight or two. Every great champion made mistakes. But it is important to take something away from them and adjust to become stronger.” Fritz Sdunek, Sturm’s trainer, said: “We had a great ten-week training camp. We studied Murray and worked out a fitting game plan. We are prepared to defend this belt.”
Friday night’s fight will be Sturm’s eleventh title defense and fortieth professional career bout. Nevertheless, he is far from done. “I want to defend my title to be able to make even more big fights in the future. I want to be on top of my division for five or six more years. I want to prove that I can beat anyone.”
In order to do that, though, the trimmed and ready champion has to get past the motivated Murray on Friday night.