Martinez pips Murray on points

28/04/2013 07:17

WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-1-1) defeated previously unbeaten Martin Murray (25-1-1) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina on Saturday night.

The final judges scores were 115-112, 115-112 and 115-112.

The bout marked a long anticipated homecoming for Martinez, who hadn't fought in Argentina in more then 11 years.

Murray knocked Martinez down with a right hand in the eighth. Martinez wasn't hurt by the shot, it was more a case of Martinez moving away at the time that he was hit.

Martinez is infamous for fighting with his hands down by his side, confident in his boxing ability and reflexes to react once his opponents fall for the trap. Murray was baited throughout the fight, but managed to score with right hands early in the fight. The Brit was by far the larger of the two fighters, but Martinez could establish proper distance early and kept the fight at his desired pace. The same pattern looked to have held true as both fighters seemed weary of the damp ring and inclement weather. The settings discouraged either fighter from taking any more risks than necessary.

Martinez remained in contol but was increasingly forced to stay on his guard with each passing round. Murray found success with straight right hands both upstairs and to the body though never to the point of enjoying a sustained attack. Efforts to target Martinez' midsection were momentarily thwarted when he was warned for a low blow that gave the 38-year-old southpaw an unofficial timeout in the fourth round.

The fight used open scoring and Martinez was ahead 40-36, 39-37 and 39-37 after four rounds.

Murray never seemed worried though, taking the fight to the defending champion for much of the middle rounds.

I thought Murray fought well but he simply wasn't throwing enough punches. He was walking Martinez down with his gloves high, taking shots to the gloves, head and midsection and every once in a while landing a shot. That's just not enough to win a fight.

After sustaining a cut from a head-butt on the left side of his eye in the sixth, the sight of his own blood proved troubling for Martinez, who sought assistance from ringside officials, but was quickly reminded that boxing is a one-on-one sport.

A straight right hand from Murray put Martinez on the canvas in the eighth. The Argentine was sluggish in rising to his feet but enjoyed a solid recovery in round nine when he found success with his straight left hand. In the 10th Martinez sliped on the rained-soaked canvas. Some thought it was a clean knockdown but the WBC used instant replay and watched Martinez's feet not just his upper body, and they discovered his feet sliped from under him when he was bending down to avoid one of Murray's shots.   

Murray gave away rounds 11 and 12 by not letting his hands go and letting Martinez tee off on him with shots.

After the fight, Martinez said "I hurt my left hand and it may be broken,. I knew I was winning clearly. My hand was hurt since the eighth."

Murray admitted "I didn't do enough to win tonight."