Martin Murray is ready to finally win a world title – after he stopped obsessing over it.
Murray has fallen short in his previous four attempts; drawing with Felix Sturm before losing to Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin and Arthur Abraham.
His chances looked to be over two years ago when he vowed to retire after losing to Hassan N’Dam.
But the 38-year-old has been handed a surprise fifth opportunity against Billy Joe Saunders on Friday night – and he is confident his new mindset will help him upset the odds.
“The difference from two years ago to now is my outlook on boxing,” he told Mirror Fighting . “Back then I was obsessed with winning the world title and it was unhealthy.
“It was an off night against N’Dam, but I thought I was unlucky not to win the fight.
“I just accepted I had no luck and I lost my obsession with winning a world title and I was just going to box for the enjoyment.
“The little fire was always there and as the time went on it got bigger and bigger and I could see the big fight coming.
“I always felt there was one more big fight in me but I didn’t think it would be Billy Joe, I thought that was long gone.”
Murray and Saunders were twice scheduled to clash at middleweight two years ago but the champion pulled out on both occasions.
Saunders has since looked lacklustre in his fights against Shefat Isufi and Marcelo Esteban Coceres and is only fighting Murray after a clash with Canelo Alvarez fell through due to the coronavirus crisis.
And Murray added: “I’m surprised I’ve got this fight but I’ve left no stone unturned and I’m really ready for it.
“I’ve had a camp I’ve not had for years, the type of camp you have for major world title fights.
“It’s just my outlook that’s different, it feels like the stress has gone and it’s been dead liberating.
“I feel at peace with myself and more content which is not just good for me but it’s good for everyone around me.
“If this fight had happened two years ago it would have been in Billy Joe’s interests but it took me having that s*** year and the loss against N’Dam for me to really realise if I’d have gone in with that mentality and fought Billy Joe I’d have got beat.
“I feel like everything’s fallen into place for me to become world champion. No-ones done it in five, why not? Because no-ones had the hunger and desire I’ve got.”