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In December 2018, Martin Murray was on the receiving end of a disagreeable loss to Hassam N’Dam. He was thirty-six years old, a four-time world title challenger, and immediately retired.

“I’m not going to cry about it, but that’s it,” Murray said. “I’m done…My life is about my family, boxing is a job to me and I can’t keep doing this. It’s time for a new venture.”

Yet on Friday, he returns to fight again, taking on Portuguese super middleweight, interim WBC Latino Silver super middleweight and WBU European super middleweight champion Rui Pavanito (10-8-1) at Liverpool’s Olympia theatre. The break appears to have refreshed Murray, who credits a shift in attitude to his renewed love for boxing.

“I had an off fight and now I’m coming back. Mentally, I needed a rest. I have re-evaluated a few things over the last few months. I had an unhealthy obsession with winning a world title for a long time. The pressure is off now and I’m just going in there to enjoy it.”

St Helen’s Murray was due to face Denmark’s Kim Poulson (28-5) before the latter withdrew. In the build up to that fight, Murray had referenced his ‘superior physical attributes’ as well as his boxing ability as being factors which would both prove too much for Poulson; and these attributes will likely still overwhelm the relatively inexperienced Pavanito.

The bout is scheduled to go 10 rounds. Murray plans on ‘putting a good performance in, getting him out of there and look[ing] good doing it.’ Whether he accomplishes this or not, it will certainly be good to have him back.

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