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WOOD vs MURRAY AS AUSTRALIAN BOXING SURVIVAL

 

 

Garth Wood vs Martin Murray represents Australian boxing's fight for survival

SOME of Australia’s most influential media personalities have read the tea leaves and declared the upcoming Garth Wood-Martin Murray world title fight, to be announced today, the most important in Australian boxing.

Not the biggest ever, and it remains to be seen if it will be the best, but the most important.

Australia’s reputation as a fight nation has been damaged worldwide following last week’s disastrous cancellation of last week’s Anthony Mundine-Shane Mosley fight.

So much only an 11th hour meeting with the Sydney Entertainment Centre and pay per view provider MainEvent, settled last week, prevented a second cancellation after both considered withdrawing in the wake of the Mundine-Mosley fiasco.

"I’ve been calling fights since Jeff Fenech in '85, I don’t go much anymore, but this fight is the most important fight in the last 50 years for putting respectability back in the game after what we have gone through with Mundine in the past decade," 2GB’s Ray Hadley said.

Garth Wood

Garth Wood will be trying to restore Australian boxing's respectability in his bout with Martin Murray. Picture: Bradley Hunter

2GB owner John Singleton also questioned the sport’s future after recent scandals, which also included Sonny Bill Williams's title fight being slashed from 12 rounds to 10 midway through the fight as Williams tired.

"At the cost of what?" Singleton said.

"We have got Mundine, Daniel Geale and Wood and, instead of it being a golden era, we might have come to the end of the road."

Channel Nine chief executive David Gyngell questioned the damage last week’s fiasco caused to Australian boxing, but in light of poor ticket sales and uninspiring pay per view forecasts, asked "maybe they’re sick and tired of it".

Wood Mundine

Garth Wood on his way to his most famous win, a knockout of Anthony Mundine in 2010. Picture: Mark Evans

Trainer Johnny Lewis is disappointed that the legitimacy of Wood’s fight against Murray, which in other eras would have had Sydney buzzing, has been damaged by the public’s fading goodwill.

"This is probably the most important fight in the history of our sport," Lewis said.

"It’s at an all-time low and too much has gone on of late to get it up.

"We have to restore credibility. If this show was to tumble it might be the final nail."

Argentina Martinez Murray Boxing

England's Martin Murray flexes his arms during an official weigh-in before fighting Sergio Martinez this year.

It’s a sentiment shared by broadcaster Alan Jones.

"What boxing needs more than ever is someone the public can trust," he said.

"Garth Wood only knows one gear, 100 per cent, and I hope the public get behind this fight because this young man is a fair dinkum giving and talented Australian and such people must be supported."

The fight will now go ahead at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on December 11 after they were convinced fans would buy in, given the strength of champion Murray and underdog Wood.

Mundine-Mosley

Anthony Mundine and Shane Mosley face-to-face at a press conference in Sydney.

Murray, 31, is currently the WBA’s interim middleweight champion, but is expected to be promoted to full middleweight champion at a WBA convention next month, making the fight a full-blown world title challenge.

Wood is considered a heavy underdog, a tag he has enjoyed all his career and which he hopes will prompt fight fans to turn out in December.

"This is more than a fight because this is a guy who is a complete underdog and who came out of nowhere and beat a world champion Mundine," Gyngell said.

"Now, he has got one more chance to resurrect an amazing Cinderella story."

Anthony Mundine

Anthony Mundine at his gym in Redfern after announcing his fight with Shane Mosley was offPicture: Gregg Porteous

Sourcewww.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/boxing-mma/garth-woods-bout-with-martin-murray-represents-australian-boxings-fight-for-survival/story-fni2fnkz-1226750001800

 

 

 

 

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