Abraham edges out Murray to retain WBO title
WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) defeated British challenger Martin Murray (32-3-1, 15 KOs) by a split decision on Saturday night at the TUI Arena in Hannover, Germany.
Abraham landed the harder shots throughout and two of the judges scores were 115-112 and 116-111 for the defending champion, while the third had it 115-112 for Murray.
The St Helens fighter outworked Abraham in the early rounds, throwing a lot of punches but the German veteran did a good job of blocking them.
Abraham connected with a hard left hook in the third as Murray was having little success landing shots around Abraham’s guard.
The champion put together some solid combinations in the following rounds and a further barrage troubled Murray in the seventh.
However, it was the challenger who landed the best punch of the fight in the next round. An overhand right rocked Abraham, and Murray tried to finish it off with follow up shots, but Abraham soon recovered and came back strong in the later rounds.
Murray was deducted a point in the 11th for using the shoulder, but it did not make any difference to the outcome as Abraham had already done enough to retain his title.
"I trained hard, have shed blood and sweat. I was technically and tactically the better boxer," said Abraham. "But I didn't box against a punchbag. He is a world-class fighter, who put in a good fight and you have to acknowledge that."
Abraham made it five successful defences in his second world title reign.
It was Murray's fourth world title attempt to end in defeat following debatable points decisions - a draw with Felix Sturm in 2011 and a unanimous decision loss to Sergio Martinez in 2013 before a 11th round stoppage defeat to Gennady Golovkin last February.