NO opponent has hurt Rohan Murdock more than injury and inactivity.
Widely touted as the dark horse in a stacked super middleweight division, the formerly world rated Queenslander – who has tasted defeat just once in 20 professional appearances – has been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch a division he was expected to top, move on without him.
With only fight under his belt in the last twelve months, Murdock (19-1, 14 KOs) is looking to make up for his extended absence.
“I’ve been out with injuries for the past year now,” said Murdock to Aus-Boxing. “I have been in the gym everyday, pretty much the whole time – even with the injuries – so I haven’t had any time off. I’m focused on winning this fight and I’m hoping to get him out of there pretty early to be honest.”
“I’ve been told I will be on Jeff Horn’s next card when that is announced, so hopefully I can just make a quick turn around from this fight and focus on the next one.”
The 25-year-old has prepared for his comeback bout by sparring with world rated light heavyweight Trent Broadhurst, who challenges Russian dynamo Dmitry Bivol for the vacant WBA light heavyweight crown at the Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin in Monte Carlo next month.
As Murdock freely explains, they haven’t been pulling any punches in their preparations. And while he is putting in work with the best possible training partners, Murdock concedes that it has been tough preparing for fights, particularly with so many of them falling over mid-camp.
“I have been sparring with Trent Broadhurst,” he stated. “He just got a world title shot for November 4th so we have been working hard together, we have been really pushing it.”
“It’s been really tough because I’ve had all these preparations where either the fight hasn’t come through, or injuries have got in the way. It’s put me back in the ratings – I lost my world rating – I couldn’t even tell you where I am currently ranked in Australia at the moment, it’s been tough.”
In many ways, time spent wishing is time wasted. With that in mind, Murdock has been astutely perfecting his craft alongside head trainer Chris Carden at his recently opened Platinum Boxing Club, despite missing out on marquee opportunities against Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham when Murdock was previously world rated.
“I have to be positive, we’ve got everything right now. I’m really feeling the best I’ve ever felt, I just have to show come fight night what I’m capable of. I think it’ll show that I’ve been putting in. I hope to show off some new skills as well, some of the stuff I’ve been working on over the past year.”
Murdock admits that he sees his eight round tussle against Said Mbelwa (43-24-5, 28 KOs) at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Saturday night as a keep-busy fight, while he targets an undercard slot on Jeff Horn’s inaugural WBO welterweight title defence against Gary Corcoran in Brisbane next month.
“This fight against Mbelwa is really about me getting back in there,” he continued. “I’d like to experience another preparation before I step up for these bigger fights – I should be able to get him out of there – I want a knockout. I want to show what I’ve been working on over the past year and that I’ve got new skills.”
“This super middleweight division, I want to make it my division. I want people to know that. My fight career has been so inactive due to injuries and I have also had some promotional troubles as well, so there has just been no activity. But I haven’t stopped training since I turned professional.”
Murdock is hopeful a series of impressive performances this year will lead to a promotional deal with leading Oceanic promotional stable, Duco Events. The New Zealand-based promoter are known best for their work with Jeff Horn, having acquired the reigning world champion relatively early in his professional career.
“I hope to be signed by Duco, that is my main goal,” he declared. “It looks like it may happen, they’ve said that I need to get a couple of good wins under my belt and they’d be happy to sign me up. So I have this one and hopefully get on Jeff’s card and get a win there too.”
“From there, I hope to get back in the rankings and do what all these other Aussie fighters are doing, and that’s fight for a world title.”
Tickets for “It’s Time” are available from Ticketek.com.au starting from $59.10. The card will be broadcast live and free on Epicentre.TV beginning at 7:00pm (AEST).
Photo: Duco Events