Murray should make short work of Buckland
John Murray goes looking to follow in the footsteps of Ken Buchanan, Jim Watt and Jon Thaxton by claiming the vacant European lightweight title this Friday against Cardiff's Gary Buckland.
Murray is unbeaten, on a run of four stoppage wins and this will be fight number 29 for the Manchester man who has been left in the shadows a little by the explosion onto the world stage of fellow Brits Amir Khan and Kevin Mitchell.
There's been talk of both facing Murray at some point for a few years now, but whilst Khan is already a world champion fighting at Madison Square Garden, and Mitchell all set for a stadium world title tilt in a few weeks, Murray has been left in the dust somewhat and will have to be content, for now, with being the European boss in a fight he should win with something to spare.
Murray treated his fans to a worrying showing two years ago when he laboured to a very close points win against late substitute journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi, the sort of fighter who should take you the distance but lose every round.
Many thought Murray actually lost to the popular but limited Yorkshire-based Syrian, but since that fight Murray has bounced back in style, halting Lee Meager, Lee McAllister and Scott Lawton before clashing with a past his best Thaxton last October in a fight that Murray won in the fourth.
A pattern has emerged of Murray starting slowly and often taking a few shots himself before going through the gears and finding his opponent out, unleashing a variety of shots and wearing his man down.
I see no reason to oppose this school of thought, and feel that Buckland doesn't have the power to bother Murray if indeed he lands a few of his own early doors.
Whilst the more notable names in the UK light-welter/lightweight scene may indeed be the aforementioned Khan and Mitchell, Murray isn't that far removed from them in terms of ability - he just needs an opponent to showcase his talents against.
Buckland won't be that man, and I see Murray taking care of business around the fifth and hopefully make inroads towards the world stage.
He's certainly talented enough to do so.
Recommendation: John Murray to win in the fifth round - 12/1