John Murray
John Murray had too much class against the battle hardened Ukrainian Andriy Kudryavtsev, stopping him in the ninth round in the first defence of his European lightweight title at the Robin Park arena in Wigan on Saturday night.
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Murray 25, nicknamed `The Manchester Machine` was in tremendous shape, running on all cylinders and well oiled, has he took control of the fight from the first minute, up to the stoppage, eventually breaking down his challenger in a punishing lesson of accurate punching precision.
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In a contest that could quiet easily have been held in a telephone box, both men gladly met in range and continued to trade throughout, but Murray’s willingness to take a shot, to give four and his casual cuteness to slip a shot and then land his own world class arsenal was too intensive in the end for his challenger.
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Kudryavtsev 34, was has tough as old boots, and his willingness to go toe to toe with Murray made for a good fight with an intense non stop action. The resilient Ukraine took some crunching punches from the Mancunian that may have felled lesser mortals and made Murray work for his successes in the fight.
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Murray produces all his work from behind a tight defense and launches every punch in the book from it. In the first four rounds Murray stamped his authority on the fight and had taken the sting out of Kudryavtsev before systematically battering him for the duration.
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Murray’s wicked right uppercut, left hook’s and digging body punches were hurting Kudryavtsev inside and his ability to go through the gears was impressive as he hurt Kudryavtsev more frequently with fierce combinations.
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Murray was growing stronger as the fight wore on and after a hard right hand  knocked the tired Ukrainians head back once too often, the referee finally came to his Mercy at 2 min, 29s of round nine.
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“He was very tough. We knew watching him on tapes, as well as his record, that he was a really good fighter.” Murray told Sky Sports afterwards on the ring apron.
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Toe to Toe battle
“I went in there and did a really good job. I boxed really well in the early rounds, then lost my way for a couple rounds but then came back really strong.
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“That shows my quality – to lose my way in a fight but then find my rhythm again. You have to do that at the very top level.” added Murray
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Murray now unbeaten in 30 fights, 18 wins by KO is seven years a professional and is chomping at the bit for a shot at a genuine world title in the elite pool of fighters reigning in the lightweight division.
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A fight against the winner of Juan Manuel Marquez against Michael Katsidis, is a fight team Murray would jump at. The pair meet the for the WBA and WBO lightweight titles at the MGM, Las Vegas on November 27th.
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A fight against either of them would be something to be-hold and would be a treat for fight fans and Murray will more than fancy his chances.
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Another option for Murray to investigate is WBC champion Humberto Sota who has a schedule fight in December with no opponent named as yet! 
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Sota, a thirteen year pro, would be a tough assignment for Murray, he is a former Featherweight, super featherweight and current lightweight world champion, with a record of 63 fights, 53, wins and 32 KO, losing 7 fights on points and never being stopped.
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“I’d love to fight any of the top guys in the division,” he added.
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“Michael Katsidis, which I think would be an absolute war if we got it on, there’s Juan Diaz and then also Juan Manuel Marquez. Also Soto, who is the current WBC champion. I’d love a shot at the world title before Christmas.”
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Another mooted option for Murray maybe an opportunity to fight in Las Vegas against Victor Ortiz on the undercard of Amir Khans fight against Manuel Maidana on December 11th.
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Asked if he would be keen to fight Ortiz in December, Murray said: “Definitely, yeah. I’m going to go to Egypt for a week, get a bit of sun on my back, and then we will be back into training.”
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Khan watching Murrays fight
The fight though would mean Murray moving up in weight to light-welterweight, but would catapult him into the world boxing spotlight and a possible fight with Amir Khan, Murray’s Greater Manchester rival, who was in the arena tonight commentating for Sky Sports.
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Murray’s ‘Barmy Army’ were banging their drum and in football terrace chants were asking Khan who he thought he was? and not so politely told him that they believe their man Murray could have him!!
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There is no doubt a fight against Khan would be big box office in Britain and with America getting the Amir Khan bug the fight would be a genuine world class match up of British fighters at the absolute peaks of there careers.
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This though obviously depends on Murray accepting a fight with Ortiz and winning, Khan defeating Maidana and the boxing powers that be.
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The way Murray goes about his work is a boxing fans dream, he never hides and stands and fights everytime, willing to test his resolve against his opponents and breaking their spirit with his constant pressure style and pin point punches.
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Murray is a boxers boxer, a no nonsense throw back to the boxing good old days. So as Manchester say good bye to the ring career of their former hero Ricky Hatton, They welcome John Murray as their bearer of the all action come forward fighter and may have once again produced a boxer in the same vain of the ‘Hitman’ who can conquer the world.
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Amir Khan ‘Murray Should Fight Ortiz’

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Whatever the next path the Murray machine takes – There is no doubt about it, the British and European lightweight champion certainly deserves a world title fight, which ever direction it comes from.
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Joe Murray
Undercard.
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Joe Murray the featherweight younger sibling of John and a professional of promise continued his fledgling career with a routine stoppage of Hungarian Richard Szebeledi, improving his record to 8 straight wins, with 4 stoppages.
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Szebeledi though proved to be well out of his depth and looked vulnerable every time he attacked Murray with lunging right hands, off balance and unorthodox.
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After a first round to suss Szebeledi out Murray didn’t hang around in the second round and backing the Hungarian up Murray landed a right cross that flush on his chin dropping Szebeledi face first. The ref immediately waved the fight off.
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Paul Truscott, who ended an eight month layoff in May was back in action  to out box Hungarian Zsolt Nagy 60-54. Nagy always dangerous and was in good shape, making Truscott work hard for his win. The Middlesbrough man was always in front and looking composed and good for his win boxed well. 
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Manchester’s Prince Arron (left) impressively stopped former World Boxing Federation light middleweight champion and once touted prospect Hungarian Mihaly Kotai in the 6th and final round of a fight he boxed well in to cap an impressive display of controlled boxing behind a good jab.
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The upper cut that wobbled Kotai to his boots and ultimately ended the fight, was a great shot and had to be to make a dent in Kotai, who had never been stopped in his 41 fight career.
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Sheffield’s Kid Galahad, slipped, slided and pick punched Slough’s Ian Baily to win all 6 rounds on the referee’s scorecard which read 60-55 in his favor.
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Kid Galahad
Galahad from the Brendan Ingle school of switch hitting and reflex boxing techniques, is a good boxer and as all the Naseem Hamed tricks and used good skills to out box Baily who constantly came forward that set a pace that lasted through-out this heated tussle.
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Having his second fight in two weeks, Phill Fury cousin of English heavyweight champion Tyson, stopped Birmingham’s Terry Adams in the second round, administering a right uppercut that stunned Adams on the spot, and as he began to stagger backwards into the ropes, Fury stormed in to force the finish, a couple more shots and the referee had seen enough at 1 minute 43 secs round six.
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Brentwood based Pole, Albert Sosnowski, made his comeback after his unsuccessful challenge to Vitali Klitschko when he was stopped in the 10th round in May, by stopping Paul Butlin in the first round.
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Josh Wale Dec 6 Yoan Boyeaux
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By Chris Maylett

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