Lancaster Regiment backs Salford star Martin Murray on his German mission
Martin Murray will take his very own army to Germany tonight to back him in his world title bid.
The British, Commonwealth and Inter-Continental middleweight champion aims to cause a major upset against WBA king Felix Sturm in Mannheim.
And his cause will be aided by a band of drummers from the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.
It is part of his support of the charity – the Army Benevolent Fund – and he insists it will help him silence the hostile SAP Arena.
Germany is renowned as one of the fiercest places to travel in boxing with names like Sturm and the Klitschko brothers huge stars there.
David Haye and Matthew Macklin witnessed the intense atmosphere of fighting in Germany first hand this year in their respective defeats to Wladimir Klitschko and Sturm.
But the Salford-based Murray says the trip holds no fears for him.
“Yes, Germany is different to what I’m used to, but I have got the best fans in the world,” said the 29-year-old.
“I’m taking 300 and the army drummers and believe me, you will hear my barmy army.
“The size of the venue doesn’t bother me. I’m in a ring with only me and Sturm and when I take control of the fight, the Germans will be very quiet.
“I’m not being over confident. This just means so much to me. It’s life-changing and I cannot waste this chance.”
Murray began supporting the Army Benevolent Fund to help the work of his friend, Andy Reid, who suffered terrible injuries in Afghanistan.
“It is a charity aimed at providing for soldiers injured in conflict,” he said. “Unlike Help the Heroes, this fund helps all conflicts like Bosnia as well as Iraq and Afghanistan and even going back to any conflict we have been involved in.
“My friend Andy lost his legs and an arm in Afghanistan and is an ambassador for this charity.
“As a team we paid for Andy to come to Germany, but he had to cancel due to his charity commitments. I’m aiming to raise the profile of this charity. I visited an army barracks to raise the awareness and the regiment is providing me with the drummers which I’m so grateful for.”
Promoter, Ricky Hatton, will be at ringside tonight, hoping Murray can emulate his achievements on the world stage.
The Hitman said: “I feel Martin Murray can become my first world champion.
“Apart from his obvious talent he’s in his prime, hungry, fresh with very few miles on the clock. This is the right fight at the right time.”
Sturm has already broken British hearts once this year with his contentious points win over Macklin. But Murray is convinced he can succeed where his rival failed.
“I rate sturm highly,” he said. “They say Sergio Martinez and Sturm are the best two middleweights in the world so a win would be a massive achievement.
“He has been world champion for many years now and has been a great champion. But now it’s my time.”
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