By Derek Bonnett. Fighting for the eighth time in two years, Gennady Golovkin put his middleweight belt on the line against highly regarded Martin Murray in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Golovkin, the middleweight champion with the highest KO ratio in history, looked to keep his eighteen bout knockout streak alive against a fighter whose only two blemishes were a debatable draw with Felix Sturm and controversial decision loss to Sergio Martinez. Golovkin met Murray in his thirteenth scheduled defense of the WBA middleweight title.
Murray lived up to the expectation that he would provide "Triple G" with his sternest challenge to date. The British middleweight boxed well over the first six minutes and landed effectively with straight shots as Golovkin plotted his attack patiently. Murray landed an overhand right in the second and held once Golovkin attempted to open up his offense. Murray closed out the second with a strong uppercut to the body. Much like the great Julio Cesar Chavez, Golovkin got down to business in the third round, having seen enough to assess that Murray was not a power threat. Golovkin’s assault on Murray’s trunk began with greater focus. A right hand to the chin and left hook to the side of Murray’s head, both partially blocked, wobbled the challenger near the end of the ninth minute to put Golovkin on the SecondsOut scoreboard. After three rounds, Murray led 2-1 unofficially.
Gennady Golovkin, 32, stepped up his attack and sought to end matters in the fourth. After Murray was warned for a low blow, Golovkin sent his challenger to the canvas with a right hook to the torso. Murray picked himself up, but met the mat once again courtesy of another right hook to his mid-section. The referee separated the boxers incorrectly after hearing the ten second warning and then the round was ended nine seconds early, possibly robbing Golovkin of a quicker defense. Murray came back to life between rounds and fought the next two rounds with surprise vigor. However, his nose was bloodied with a consistent uppercut from the champion. Murray fought off the ropes well for a fighter badly hurt only the round before, but Golovkin’s pressure kept him on top and built his lead to 4-2 after six rounds with two knockdowns scored.
Murray’s game attitude become the topic of conversation by the HBO commentary team, but concern for the challengers health also permeated the conversation. Murray’s eye began to swell over the seventh and eighth rounds. Murray fell to the canvas again, but the referee correctly ruled it a slip. The ninth round action mirrored the previous rounds as Golovkin cut off the ring, again like the aforementioned Chavez. Yet, Murray still had some success with his punch selection even if his attack waned. Golovkin dropped Murray again in round ten with a right hand. Murray had looked like a beaten fighter for the last several rounds, but for the first time, he looked like an outclassed fighter. Everyone with the exception of the challenger’s corner was ready for a halt to the action, but Murray was allowed to come out for the eleventh round. Although he had been hurt worse earlier in the bout, the referee intervened at the :50 mark to save Murray from further punishment along the ropes.
Golovkin was awarded his nineteenth straight stoppage and thirteenth world title defense. Golovkin, 32-0 (29), made a statement even if it wasn’t his most electrifying showing. Critics will find room for complaint, but Golovkin has proven he can made top ten middleweights go away quietly. The only left for Golovkin at 160 is a formality fight with Miguel Cotto. Other than that, it is time for a rise to 168. Murray, on the other hand, may still have a bright future at middleweight. Bouts with Cotto or other Golovkin challengers still make for exciting match-ups. Murray fell to 29-2-1 (12).
On the untelevised undercard, South Africa’s Hekkie Budler defended his WBA minimumweight title for third time with a unanimous decision over the formidable Jesus Silvestre. Budler retained the title with scores of 117-110 and 115-112 twice. Budler lifted his record to 28-1 (9). Silvestre fell to 30-6 (22).
Also in action, Hughie Fury passed his greatest test as a professional with a unanimous ten round decision over Andriy Rudenko in a heavyweight bout. Fury brought home scores of 98-91, 98-92, and 97-92. The Manchester boxer improved his record to 15-0 (8). Rudenko fell to 24-2 (16).
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