Writer: Kid Glove
Date:Sunday June 26 2016
The chief fight on the under-card, at the O2 Arena last night, saw George Groves take on Martin Murray in a super-middleweight contest.
The fight matched two boxers who, between them, had contested seven world title fights and lost them all.
It had, prior to the fight, been suggested that the loser would be facing retirement.
In front of a capacity crowd, many of who had labelled this fight as possibly being the fight of the night, it was George Groves who was to emerge victorious by a unanimous points decision with all three judges scoring the fight 118-110 in favour of the fighter from Hammersmith.
With the bell having sounded for the first round, Groves looked the sharper of the two pugilists in the first three rounds, starting to build a decent points lead. But Murray rallied in the fourth and with Groves trapped in the corner unleashed a barrage of punches.
Groves unfazed by the fourth round attack, continued to produce the sharper boxing, using his jab to keep Murray ay bay and the seventh round saw Murray wobbled by a decent right upper-cut.
Although being soundly beaten, on points, Murray continued to put up stout resistance but was caught once again by Groves in the ninth and made his way rather gingerly back to his corner.
Entering the final rounds it looked as if Groves might stop Murray but the St Helens fighter fought back and caught Groves with two huge right hands that the Hammersmith fighter did well to take in his stride.
Although Murray went looking for the knockout he knew at this stage of the fight, after falling way behind on points, it was Groves who continued to land the better shots and there was no argument from Murray when the decision was announced.
Following the fight Groves, who will now be heading for a fourth world title attempt, had this to say to the Sky Sports team,
'I think I performed great, but I got caught with punches.
'Martin Murray is a class act and should be a world champion.
'It was make or break, but I had him out on his feet. That was my first step up since losing to Badou Jack. I did well but hats off to Murray. What a performer.'
And when it come to the loser possibly being forced into retirement, Murray, despite losing, was having none of that talk, remarking to Sky Sports,
'I got beaten by a better man. He was good and he hurt me a couple times.
'I'm gutted. I'm sorry I didn't do enough today and I got beat clearly. But I'm not ready to retire.
'People say George Groves is finished but he proved he's not and I definitely have so much more to give.'
Although the fight wasn’t, in the end, as close as many expected it to be, it was a cracking contest with both men giving it all they had on the night, now we wait to see what lies ahead for both fighters in their next bout.
Date:Sunday June 26 2016
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Okolie’s Super-Quick Debut KO (Monday March 27 2017)
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Brook v Spence Press Conference (Thursday March 23 2017)
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