Martin Murray: I don't want my world title dream to die

Martin Murray is ranked 5th by the WBO and 6th with the WBA. Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Martin Murray hopes that victory over Roberto Garcia on Saturday will move him closer to a fifth world title shot.

Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs) was meant to be challenging Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO belt, but Saunders pulled out for a second time earlier this month. Murray will instead contest the fringe WBC Silver middleweight title against Garcia in a fight which will be streamed live on ESPN+ in the United States.

Murray has had four unsuccessful attempts at becoming world champion, including a controversial draw against Felix Sturm in Germany in 2011, and he admits that defeat to Garcia will not only end his dream of becoming world champion but also his 11-year-professional career.

"There's no one who has ever fought for the world middleweight title five times from England, and that's what is spurring me on," Murray told ESPN.

"The only reason I will get another shot is if I have looked good in my previous fights.

"I'm a world-class fighter, and I know there's another world title fight in me. I'm still there, and I'm a survivor.

"If I can't beat this next opponent, it would have to be the end because I should be beating guys like him. It's the last chance -- if I can't beat him, I'm finished."

Murray, who is ranked at No. 5 and 6 by the WBO and IBF world governing bodies, respectively, believes that victory this weekend will catapult him into contention for one of the world title belts.

World middleweight No. 1 Gennady Golovkin, the WBC-WBA champion who stopped Murray in 11 rounds three years ago, was last week stripped of his IBF belt, creating a potential opening for Murray, while he could also move into mandatory contention with the WBC.

"I'm hearing that if I win this and make one defence, I become mandatory contender for the WBC world title," Murray said.

"We'll have to see, but I see it opening up with the IBF now, and hopefully this fight can be some sort of an eliminator. I feel like I'm going to be looked after for once after all I've been through.

"When Golovkin beats Canelo [Alvarez], I don't think he will be bothered about fighting Saunders for the WBO now because he's been stripped of the IBF belt, so there won't be four titles on the line. I don't know what he will do, move up a weight division or even retire. It could open up.

"I can't thank promoter Frank [Warren] enough for getting the replacement opponent. I didn't think I was going to get a fight, but this is such a meaningful fight that puts me in a great position with the WBC if I win."

Murray admits the Texas-based Garcia, 38, has a contrasting style to Saunders', but he is confident his experience will be enough for the win that will boost this own world title hopes.

"He has been calling me out, which shows he's ready for it, and if I win, this it puts me back in the mix," Murray said.

"He's game and he's raw and he comes to win, so I'm expecting a tough fight. He's the complete opposite of what I was preparing for. Saunders is a runaway southpaw, where as he's an orthodox, in-your-face fighter."