John Murray with the British and European lightweight titles,
he hopes to add the world title to his growing collection.
Manchester’s John Murray won the European lightweight title on Friday night, adding it to his British belt, having won it outright, against Welsh warrior Gary Buckland.

The 25-year-old Murray, always so methodical in his work, just had the look, that what ever it took, he just wasn’t going to be denied at the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes.

After a fierce toe to toe battle, that could have been staged in a telephone box, the referee stopped the fight in the 11th round, to save Buckland from any further punishment.

Victory takes Murray’s record to 29 wins, 16 by KO, with no losses or draws and this European title shot was well overdue having been posponed twice
Murray started the fight in his usual manner, never giving his opoinent a minutes rest bite, he was in Bucklands face from the opening bell, but Buckland who fought his heart out, was there to meet him in the middle
Murray was constantly landing meaty body shots and chopping hooks throughout, that would prove to be the key factor in wearing Buckland down, and finally out
Buckland is renowed for throwing a good right hook, cum uppercut, and although he did have his own successes with it, Murray’s own uppercuts and hook’s were crashing off his solid chin
Buckland was in the fight of his life and performed with the required heart and bravery to match the occasion. The fifth round was a good one for him, out working Murray, who dropped a gear and the round. Murray was soon back in the driving seat and began to take the fight to the next level, has he stepped on the gas again in the 6th
By the 7th round, the hooks and constent uppercuts from Murray began to take visible effect, and Buckland was hurt and rocked, a suspected broken nose, pouring with blood, and his right eye began closing, from catching the accurate jabs of Murray
Buckland was still fighting hard though, and his sheer will and desire were keeping him in the fight, although by the 9th and 10th rounds, the referee and Buckland’s corner were taking a close look, as by now it was clear that Murray was on his way to the win, and Buckand shouldn’t have to take much more
Buckland though continued throwing shots and working hard, thus keeping himself in the fight. But Murray’s relentless pressure finally got to Buckland in the 11th, and now taking one too many, the ref stepped in and stopped it, giving Murray the Lonsdale belt outright, the European title and a potential world title shot
It was certainly an honourable defeat for the Welshman, who was in tremendous condition despite taking the fight on three weeks’ notice, and he will surely come again
Buckland’s tactics proved to be his down fall in the end, costing him the fight, and a sustained beating, as the 23-year-old’s bravely stood toe to toe from the outset with the super strong Murray.
Murray, who had claimed the domestic title with victory over Jon Thaxton last October, was more than happy to oblige Buckland and trade with him as the bigger fighter, his strenght was another desciding factor
The uncompromising John Murray,
a man on a mission

Murray proved again that he is one of the best British fighters of world class quality, and after a fustrating six month’s out of the ring, he looked better than ever, defensivly he was spot on, and the calm, calculated and confident way he goes about his work is fascinating to watch, he is a man on a mission and he personifies that aura

So what next for Murray? He will now have to defend his newly aquired European title against Ukrainian, Andrei Kudriatsev, within 90 days, and could possibly relinquish his British title to take on a new path
Murray was calling out Amir Khan some time back, but with the Bolton lad having stepped up to light-welterweight, Joe Gallagher told British Boxers this week that Khan, for the time being is off there radar, and that John wants to win a world title at lightweight before even thinking of looking for Khan, Gallagher added that John makes the lightweight comfortably.
The lightweight division is a hot bed of talent, and as in its history, currently has a top ten of quality operators, but the uncompromising Murray would be a handfull for any of them
Mexican Humberto Soto is the WBA champion and with a record of 51 fights, 7 defeats, 2 draws, with 32 KOs is dangerous but beatable
The WBA champion is Paulus Moses from Namibia with a record Record: 25-0-0 (17 KOs) he defends the title this month against top 10 rated challenger Venezuelan Miguel Acosta, this promises to be a good fight and will make things clearer in the division
Juan Manuel Marquez is still the name of the divsion, although he last fought at light welter against Floyd Mayweather, he is now lined up to face old foe Juan Diaz in July
With the IBF title currently vacant, Murray deserves to be set up now to fight another top 10 rated lightweight for a title, which ever it may be,  but a possible showdown with the winner Kevin Mitchell and Michael Katsidis is being talked about
Londoner Kevin Mitchell, himself a British fighter of high potential, will be in for a tough night against Australian Katsidis at Upton Park, next Saturday, in what should be another thriller
John Murray vs Kevin Mitchell would be a massive specticle in the UK and the world of boxing, and would make intriging viewing, but should two of our most talented fighters meet now, or wait until both become world champions by taking different routes?
Murray though is not bothered who he fights and if Katsidis were to ruin Mitchells home coming show, he would gladly face the self styled Gladiator from down under
Speaking after last nights win in Widnes, Murray could see no reason to wait and would love to get it on with his British rival.
“Mitchell fights Katsidis and there’s no reason why I can’t fight the winner – I’d love to,” Murray said
“I shouted out Katsidis after the Thaxton fight and Mitchell has come up a weight but now I’m back on the map and it’s time for me to kick on
“I’ve won the European title and want to start mixing with these guys. Both are strong warriors but I would love to fight them
“I think Mitchell can out box Katsidis but I’m not bothered who wins, I just want to fight the winner.”
“Mitchell is doing it the right way by taking chances and not avoiding anyone.”
“Full credit to him as he wants to fight the best to be the best so he is a man cut from the same cloth as me.
“We’ve known each other for years, get on well, boxed as schoolboys. We’ve had similar careers and similar fights. We’re both undefeated, both good punchers and both got good knockout ratios. It’s what Britain needs.”
“I wouldn’t duck anyone and neither would he so it would be a massive fight for us, the fans and a massive fight for Britain.”
John Murray with trainer Joe Gallagher
Joe Gallagher said before Saturday’s fight, that John was like a chaged Lion waiting to be let out, well Murray certainly fought with the ferousity of a Lion, the cunning of a fox and the sting of a venomous snake, and it will take a boxer of some calibre to stop the Manchester machine, on his path to world honours.

Liam Cullen wins his 2nd Pro fight

It was a good weekend all around for the Gallagher camp, with Liam Cullen winning his second pro fight on the Widnes bill, and on Saturday young Zac Burton won the Junior ABA Final to round it off nicely.

Widnas Undercard
Manchester’s Prince Arron, who won the Prizefighter Light-Middleweight thropie in February. beat Max Maxwell on points over 8 rounds, 78-74.


Former Commonwealth welterweight title holder John O’Donnell produced an impressive performance to stop Hungarian Robert Balogh in the fifth round of a schedual 8.


Former Commonwealth champion Paul Truscott won over six rounds against Ukraine’s Nikita Lukin.


The Former British featherweight champion Jamie McKeever fell to a surprise defeat against Newcastle’s Dougie Curran over four rounds. McKeever was on the floor twice in the opening round and lost 38-36 on points.

there was also victories for Manchester duo Johnny Rocco who defeated Gavin Deacon on points over 6 rounds at light-welterweight, Martin Ward bt Mo Khaled on pts over 4 rounds at super-bantamweight.

JOHN MURRAY (Manchester) beat GARY BUCKLAND (Cardiff) – RSF R11


8 x 3 mins Light Middleweight Contest @ 11st 2lbs
PRINCE ARRON (Droylsden) beat MAX MAXWELL (Birmingham) -PTS 78-74


8 x 3 mins Welterwerweight Contest @ 10st 10lbs
JOHN ‘O’ DONNELL (London) beat ROBERT BALOGH (Hungary) – RSF R5


6 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight Contest @ 9st 8lbs
PAUL TRUSCOTT (Middlesbrough) beat NIKITA LUKIN (Ukraine) – PTS 59-55


6 x 3 mins Light-Welterweight Contest @ 10st 2lbs
JOHNNY ROCCO (Manchester) beat GAVIN DEACON (Northampton) – PTS 59-56


4 x 3 mins Featherweight Contest @ 9st 2lbs
JAMIE McKEEVER (Birkenhead) lost to DOUGIE CURRAN (Newcastle) – PTS 36-38


4 x 3 mins Light-Welterweight Contest @ 10st 2lbs
LIAM CULLEN (Manchester) beat MARK LEWIS (Nottingham) – PTS 40-36


4 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight Contest @ 8st 13lbs
MARTIN WARD (Manchester) beat MO KHALED (Sheffield) – PTS 40-36

article by: Chris Maylett for British Boxers

  • Anonymous

    the prospect of a mitchell v murray match up is very interesting but i think they both deserve to fight for world titles and then make the fight a unification , a lightweight unification between two british fighters would be massive for fight fans , so for them to fight now it would be a shame for one of these two warriors to emerge the loser they have both already done what khan didnt and enter the world scene with no unanswered questions at domestic level , leave khan to the casual fans these two are building real legacies.