Martin Murray defeats Dominic Spada and sets up clash with world champion Golovkin next
British middleweight Martin Murray (29-1-1, 12 KOs) scored a seventh round technical decision over Domenico Spada (39-6, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at the Salle des etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The bout was stopped at 1:19 of round seven due to a cut on the side of Spada's right eye, which was caused by an accidental head butt in the third round.
Murray, who was deducted a point due to the WBC rule that indicates a point be taken away from the uncut fighter, won by scores of 69-67, 68-63 and 67-66 and retained his WBC Silver middleweight belt.
The St Helens fighter was busier and threw a lot of jabs and power shots, although he never had the tough Italian in any trouble.
Referee Daniel Van de Wiele called timeout during the third, sixth and seventh rounds to have the doctor examine the cut, and after the third time the doctor recommended that the fight be stopped.
Spada was upset, as the cut did not appear too severe, but it was worsening as the fight wore on.
With this win, Murray looks set to face world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin next in February.
His previous two world middleweight title attempts was a narrow points loss to Sergio Martinez in April 2013 and a controversial draw with Felix Sturm in December 2011.
Also on the card, in a clash for the vacant IBF bantamweight title, unbeaten American Randy Caballero (22-0, 13 KOs) scored a 12 round unanimous decision over Britain's Stuart Hall (16-4-2, 7 KOs).
Hall was attempting to win back the IBF belt he lost on points to Paul Butler last June in only his second defence, but got off to a bad start when he was floored in the second round by a straight left hand from Caballero. After that, Hall tried to rally but Caballero never looked in trouble and controlled the fight for large periods of the 12 rounds to win by scores of 116-111, 116-111, 118-110.
WBA strawweight champion Hekkie Budler (27-1, 9 KOs) of South Africa, scored a 12 round unanimous decision over former WBC champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (24-6-1, 14 KOs) of China, and retained his title.
Zhong dropped Budler in round two, but Budler came back to floor Zhong in round three and take over the fight from there and win by scores of 114-112, 118-108, 114-112.
Other results on the card: