St Helens favourite Martin Murray did not do enough to win the WBO super-middleweight title on Saturday night. Fighting in the adopted homeland of the Armenian Arthur Abraham, Murray lost a split decision.
Winning on the judges score cards in Germany has proven very tough for foreign fighters over the years. Therefore either a thoroughly dominant display or a knock out would have to suffice. Unfortunately neither occurred.
The fight was extremely close and Abraham won with scores of 115-112, 116-111, 112-115. Murray who always fights bravely pushed the champion all the way but ultimately fell short. A huge right in round 8 severely rocked Abraham and he looked in danger of being stopped. He just managed to escape the round however and recovered well to seal the victory.
Murray whose previous world title attempts (all at middleweight) include a controversial draw against Felix Sturm in Germany, a very close decision loss against the great Sergio Martinez and an 11 round bludgeoning at the hands of knock-out artist “GGG” Golovkin which was by no means a disgrace. If any one has done enough to deserve a world title its Murray.
Abraham was once considered one of the most formidable fighters in boxing similar to how Golovkin is perceived now. Abraham had been middleweight champion for years and only surrendered it to participate in the super six tournament. Where he was ultimately outclassed by greats Carl Froch and Andre Ward. Although his best days are clearly behind him he is still a dangerous foe, and proved just a bridge to far for the man from St Helens.