Can Martin Murray Finally Win a World Title?

By Robert Ecksel on November 19, 2015
Can Martin Murray Finally Win a World Title?
“He is a great fighter,” said Murray of Abraham, “but in my opinion he’s not evolved.”

“It would be great for British boxing to have another world champion, but I just don’t think he has got the tools to pull this one off…”

Saturday night at the Tui Arena in Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany, Martin Murray (33-2-1, 15 KOs), from St. Helens, Merseyside, United Kingdom, gets another chance to fight for a title, this time against WBO World super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (43-4, 29 KOs), from Berlin by way of Yerevan, Armenia.

Having failed in his three previous attempts to win a world title, against middleweight champs Felix Sturm in 2011, Sergio Martinez in 2013, and Gennady Golovkin, who he extended 11 rounds, earlier this year, 33-year-old Murray is moving up to super middle in an attempt to dethrone 35-year-old “King Arthur,” a veteran of 21 world title fights.

Martin is a tough competitor who never gives less than his all, but his tendency to fall short when he steps up is as likely to repeat as not when he gets it on with Arthur Abraham.

But not if Murray has his way.

“We’ve been studying Arthur carefully and I believe I’ve got him beat,” he said at the final presser before the fight. “He is a great fighter, but he’s not changed his style in years, and in my opinion he’s not evolved. It’s going to be a tough fight but I know it’s well within me to win. I won’t be leaving Germany without the title.”

A former IBF World middleweight champion, Abraham hit a wall when he moved up in weight to participate in the Super Six super middleweight tournament, but not before he hit and KO’d Jermain Taylor in 2009, who may still be suffering from the consequences, and hit and DQ’d Andre Dirrell when he was on the canvas the following year.

Abraham, however, ended the Super Six with more of whimper than a bang, losing to Carl Froch in 2010 and Andre Ward in 2011.

But that was then and this is now. He has only lost one of his last 12 fights and has no plans of losing a second.

“Martin is a good boxer and I expect him to give me a hard fight, but there is no way he is taking my title.”

Surprisingly, or not, Abraham’s promoter Kalle Sauerland is hedging his bets.

“This is a real 50-50 fight,” he said, “and I think it will be Arthur’s toughest test for many years. However, he has never shied away from a challenge, and against Murray, I expect Arthur to prove why he is the number one fighter in the super middleweight division.”

Martin Murray couldn’t disagree more.

“My mindset is different for this fight,” Murray told ESPN. “A lot of things have changed. Boxing has always been about securing a good life for my family and I still want to do that. My wife and kids have a good quality of life through boxing and now I’m more settled on that part of it. I was able to take this fight even though the money isn’t great compared to what I got for Golovkin. But it’s not about the money. The drive to become a world champion is stronger than ever and I had to take the fight.”

One of the reasons his drive is stronger than ever is a possible big money showdown, should he win, with fellow Brit James DeGale, who holds the IBF World super middleweight title.

“I know if I win this there could be a unification fight with James DeGale, but I’m not thinking about that. I can’t stop thinking about Abraham at the moment. It’s the be all and end all. If I win I know what’s there, but if I lose I don’t know what’s there.

“This could potentially be a big turning point in my life. If I win I will move on to a better fight and better pay but if I lose I don’t know what I could do next. I can’t look past the Abraham fight because I don’t know what is beyond it…but I can’t help thinking that this is my time.”

Murray explained why he believes this is his time.

“Abraham has slowed down over the years. I’ve been watching his earlier fights and he was a lot busier in them.”

He may have slowed down, but “King Arthur” still presents a formidable challenge, as Carl Froch was more than happy to point out.

“I don’t think he’s got what it takes to beat him,” said Froch. “He doesn’t punch hard enough. Abraham is a hard puncher himself and I don’t think Murray will have enough power to keep him off. I don’t like to say it but I think he will find it very difficult to win a points decision in Germany. It would be nice for him to bring the title back, and it would be great for British boxing to have another world champion, but I just don’t think he has got the tools to pull this one off.”

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  1. Darrell 12:49am, 11/21/2015

    I can see Murray handily beating Abraham, by all rights he should have gotten the nod over Martinez at MW.  Abraham hits hard but he offers absolutely zero surprises and can be outworked….even Murray is slick enough to get it done without getting it back in return.

    Go on Martin son!

  2. kb 08:22am, 11/20/2015

    Seems like everyone is talking or writing about Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev, GGG, Bernard Hopkins, Adonis Stevenson, George Groves, Badou Jack, and Artur Beterbiev these days, but ever so quietly, “King” Arthur Abraham has launched a stealth-like comeback in Germany to insert himself directly in the mix of things. And depending on catchweight action, the possibilities are intriguing.

    The 168 pound Armenia-born, super middleweight has won seven straight including an SD over bitter rival Robert Stieglitz (47-5-1) in March 2014 to recapture the WBO World Super middleweight title he relinquished to Stieglitz in 2013. Interestingly, his career record against the Russian with a German name is 3-1. The King also holds two wins over the UK’s Paul Smith and has not avoided tough opposition as he has quietly raised his slate to an impressive 43-4.

  3. KB 08:19am, 11/20/2015

    AA wins. He might as well be fighting in Armenia. MM has no chance in Germany. None.

  4. andrew 08:17pm, 11/19/2015

    Para. 2: “...GG, whom he extended…”
    I think MM has to walk through a lot of hooks to have a chance.

  5. peter 06:51pm, 11/19/2015

    Murray is a rugged competitor who will have a slight height and reach advantage. But he boxes too straight on, doesn’t make effective use of his jab, and lacks creativity. I don’t see him going much further in the game than he’s already gone.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:35pm, 11/19/2015

    Probably not, however if he splits AA’s guard and punches behind AA’s high guard over and over and over again for the full thirty six minutes the fight will be close and Arthur will still win. If he wastes his time punching AA’s gloves (AA likes that) Arthur will win and it will not be close. In order for Murray to win something surprising, compelling and very favorable to him must occur….

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