Martin Murray has no respect for Billy Joe Saunders and hopes WBO title win can lead to ‘dream’ fight

Martin Murray has “no respect” for Billy Joe Saunders and hopes victory over the WBO champion could lead to a homecoming fight in St Helens.

The 35-year-old middleweight completed a wide points win over replacement opponent Roberto Garcia at the weekend after Saunders pulled out of a second scheduled fight.

A heated British rivalry with Saunders has since intensified on social media and Murray would consider taking a third bout, with talk of a date in September, provided that he is safeguarded against another pull-out.

“He knows that the only thing I can offer him is a hard fight,” Murray told the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast.

“He wasn’t ready for it the first time, and he wasn’t ready for it the second time, so does he agree to do it a third time?

“Whether he will agree and whether he will go through with it, like I said, I just can’t trust him and I just don’t know if that will happen. But if it is put to me and there is some type of insurance policy in place, then I would really consider taking the fight again.

“He’s the world champion, he’s the one who has got the belt, but he’s got no respect. Fair enough I might not have a belt, but I’ve got the respect of people.

“People understand and appreciate the fact I will fight anybody. I’ve not had easy pickings, I’ve not been given a belt and been babysat. I’ve properly worked to where I’ve got to, and I’ve always been in tough fights, took the challenges.”

Mexican Garcia was docked two points during an ugly encounter which tested Murray’s composure at The O2.

“He was a dirty fighter, we knew that,” said Murray. “It was just about keeping a cool head and not getting drawn into his type of fight.

“We kept it clean, took a lot of shots. He could have easily been disqualified, but it was just about keeping a cool head and getting the job done.”

After staying in contention for a fifth world title fight, Murray hopes he can finally succeed at the top level against Saunders to set up a triumphant return at his hometown rugby league club.

“Me fighting at St Helens, it’s been a dream of mine since being a kid, and I get on well with all the team, all the staff at Saints. They’ve really looked after me,” he said.

“We’ve got everything in place there at Saints. The seating plan is in place, the council have agreed it, the police have agreed it, we just need the right fight, and that’s all they need. It’s ready to go.

“No doubt it will sell as well, so hopefully my dream is still alive, it’s still there or thereabouts. Hopefully before I retire, I can get that wish.”

You can hear more from an exclusive interview with Martin Murray on this week’s Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast.