Martin Murray- Sinner and Saint
By Michael Richards
A world title challenger on numerous occasions, a boxing resume to envy and a family to celebrate, you would be forgiven for thinking Martin Murray didn’t have a past and life has always been so rewarding for the St Helen’s man. Following Martin’s career in recent years, I had gotten to learn small snippets about his background and life events that have led to where he now is. It wasn’t until I picked up his recently released autobiography Sinner and Saint that I really gained a true appreciation for the journey he has taken.
Drawn into a life of dictated by criminal activities, drugs and alcohol, the book covers the real lows of he endured, from winding up in a Cypriot to serving time in Liverpool’s notorious Walton Prison. The backdrop to his story centres round his love of boxing, with the sport a constant reminder of a life away from negative temptations. Boxing has found so many ways to save people from themselves and an uncertain future and its clear the sport had it role to play in the change of direction that Murray’s life took.
A talent from the moment he stepped foot in a boxing gym aged 7, he was sold on the sport, taking inspiration from so many successful boxers from the local area. Sparring at the age of 10, to fighting names including Sergio Martinez, Felix Sturm and George Groves, it’s been a hell of a journey for a lad from the Fingerpost Estate and one that isn’t over just yet.
The most heart-warming aspect however is the reality that Martin’s wife, Gemma was the major factor in getting him to where he is today, both inside and outside the ring. The love of another is often taken for granted, but is something that not only provides security it also provides direction, which is clearly evident in Martin’s journey. We are often guilty of not seeing beyond competitive sport. It becomes the be all and end all of our lives at time, when really, being happy outside of sport allows you to be successful in it.
The book is testament to Martin and his character. A tip of the hat to boxing and everyone in it who has helped him along way. More importantly, it is a portrait of a man whom so many will be able to relate to, portraying an important message of hope and that your past never has to define you, but it most certainly moulds you into the person you are today.
As Martin steps into the ring this Saturday, in the twilight of his career, he will be looking to take another step to one final world title shot. Whether he manages to gain that chance, one thing is for certain and that’s he can be immensely proud of not only where he has come from, but what he had become.