|John Murray successfully defends European title
|John Murray successfully defended his European lightweight title, out-pointing Spanish champion Karim El Ouazghari over 12 hard bruising rounds at the York Hall Bethnal Green in London.
In his first fight under Frank Warren and looking to put on a good performance, Murray struggled to get to grips with the awkward challenger and it wasn’t a vintage showing from the Manchester man, proving that his 8 month ring absence had effected him.
El Ouazghari certainly proved worthy of the title chance and gave Murray plenty of problems to deal with. The champion was sometimes guilty of smothering his work when he got inside where he usually works best and overall it was off night for the unbeaten Murray who stretched his record to 31-0, 18KO’s.
Murray started the fight tentitivly but looked to be feeling out Ouazghari in his usuall seek and destroy style, figure out his foe and launch his trademark hooks and body shots. But the gritty Spaniard had come to give his all in the biggest night of his boxing career and Murray just never got to grips with his style enough to pin him down and really hurt him.
Murray is rated No 2 by the WBC and any slip ups, in what turned out to be a potential banana skin of an opponent, would have put paid to any hopes of world glory.
Getting the 12 rounds under his belt wont have done Murray any harm though in this second defence of the European belt, but will surely now need to keep active over the coming months if he is to challenge for a world title.
All boxers are allowed an off night and with 30 good ones behind him to date, this was Murrays. But good fighters always find a way to win and thats what Murray did, dropping Ouazghari in the last round to seal the victory.
Judges final scores were 116-110, 117-111 and 115-112 a unanamous decision for Murray who continues his record as the current longest unbeaten run in British Boxing.
Full report and undercard to follow
Billy Joe Saunders had an easy nights work which was no more than target practice as he completely controlled the first two rounds of his fight against German based Turkish veteran Turgay Uzan.
Saunders the 2008 Olympian hit Uzan at will and it only looked a matter of time before he would finish his man, who was looking more dazed and confused with Saunders fast punches.
Uzan was dropped at the end of the second round with a good left hook and with no to little hope of having an effect on the 21 year old prospect, the Turk complained of getting caught on his ear as his way out of fight and the referee waved it over before the start of the 3rd session, taking the Hertfordshire based prospects record to 8-0.
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