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ADMIRATION FOR BRAVE BRITS ABROAD

 

Martin Murray, Dereck Chisora and John Murray do the country proud

IT’S becoming a bit of a catchphrase for the opening line of this weekly blog but I’ve got to say it again… what a weekend of boxing we’ve just had!

Cotto-Margarito was awesome, the two Murray’s were courageous, Dereck Chisora won me over and we also saw a new British light-middleweight champion, and this is just the start of the festive boxing season.

SLUGFEST: Murray gave it his all against Rios

SLUGFEST: Murray gave it his all against Rios

Yet some of the weekend’s decisions left many people questioning why they watch boxing, and in particular, boxing in mainland Europe.

I think you’ll agree with me when I say Martin Murray boxed brilliantly in front of a hostile German crowd in the SAP-Arena, Mannheim on Friday to come desperately close to taking Felix Sturm’s WBA ‘Super’ middleweight world title.

Judging from comments on Twitter, there were a lot of people who had Murray winning the fight by one or two rounds. As did Ted Gimza, the one judge to award the St Helens man the fight.

However, as the scores were read out and the fight was judged a draw, the card that shocked and confused fans was undoubtedly Jean-Francois Toupin’s 112-116 score in favour of Sturm.

In my opinion, that was ridiculous. However, I don’t think it can be denied that the fight was very, very close, and as is the case with boxing, the rounds are open to interpretation so close rounds can go either way depending on what impresses a particular judge.

This in turn raises another debate. What do you have to do to win a world title? Is it enough to box clever and ‘nick’ a world title or do you have to rip the belt from the champion’s waist and give the judges no excuse to not award you the win?

My only criticism of Murray’s performance on Friday would be that when he got to Sturm and had the champion covering up, he didn’t really press the fight, and I think if he had done, we would be praising Britain’s latest world champion.

Just for the record, I thought Murray won the fight by a round.

The other fight involving a Brit in Europe where the decision has to be questioned was Dereck Chisora’s assault on the vacant European heavyweight title against Robert Helenius in Finland.

I watched the Helenius – Chisora fight with a mate who knows more than the average man about boxing but is still a casual fan.

Sometimes I think watching a fight with a casual fan is interesting as they can often interpret a contest without any pre-fight judgements on either party.

While they may not know exactly what a judge is looking for and how they score a fight, they can generally see if one man is winning the fight and who is in control.

I was impressed with Chisora this weekend, in particular his aggressive nature and how he really set about the job at hand.

He pressed the bigger man and looked to get in close to bypass Helenius’ long, effective jab to good effect in my opinion.

I obviously can’t say for sure, but I felt that if he hadn’t showboated as much as he did after landing successfully, and if his concentration levels didn’t drop, he would be the new European champion.

Countless times the Londoner landed successfully on the 6ft 6in Fin but failed to get his hands back up and was consequently tagged with a jab or straight right.

When the announcer was reading out the scorecards and the words, “and the new European heavyweight champion…” my mate shouted, “YES” thinking that Chisora had dethroned Helenius.

I informed him that the title was vacant just before the announcer added, “and still undefeated…”

He couldn’t believe Chisora lost the fight, I thought he’d won by quite a margin but, disappointingly wasn’t really surprised he’d lost it when it was revealed it was a split decision, Chisora himself couldn’t believe he’d lost it and neither could his promoter Frank Warren who later called it, "one of the worst decisions I've seen in the sport".

Warren will campaign for a rematch and I think ‘Del Boy’ deserves exactly that.

I have to comment on the guts and bravery of John Murray after he was stopped in the 11th round of his WBA lightweight title fight against Brandon Rios. I encourage everyone to check out the picture of John on Tris Dixon’s Twitter (@BoxingNewsED), it is brutal!

I had picked John to triumph against all the odds in the Big Apple in my last blog and I received a Tweet afterwards saying, “just read that you've picked john murray to beat rios....oh dear oh dear.”

In many ways I suppose the Tweeter was right to respond how he did as on Friday it was quite difficult to make a case for a John Murray win.

However, I replied with, “Never know in boxing!” and around 24 hours later Brandon Rios failed to make the lightweight limit after two attempts and was stripped of his title on the scales.

Rumour then started to spread about how Rios supposedly didn’t know who Murray was after the pair ran into each other in the hotel gym, which left me questioning Rios’ preparations for the fight.

There was also another rumour that Rios had barely eaten or drunk anything in the week of the fight, and looking at the weigh in pictures it didn’t look far wrong.

I thought that the time was right for a hungry, motivated Murray to upset the odds against a severely weight drained, unprepared Rios.

However, come fight night, Rios looked huge. He had made the agreed 146.6-pound limit on the morning of the fight and it appeared he didn’t stop eating all day!

He walked through Murray’s shots and continually landed devastating uppercuts, which eventually left the referee with no other choice but to stop the fight at 2.06 of the 11th round.

Britain could have seen the coronation of two new ‘world’ champions and a new European champion this weekend, but, in my opinion, poor decisions in Europe stopped that becoming a reality.

Nice one,

Dave.

Source:  www.boxingnewsonline.net/BN08/detail.asp

 

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