Blogs & Opinion


A bridge too far?

St Helens man will fall just short in Mannheim, reckons Glenn

Glenn McCrory Posted 29th November 2011 view comments

This is a big, big step up for Martin Murray.

I know he has made terrific progress in the last few years but Felix Sturm? In his 13th world title defence? In Germany? That is a tough challenge for any middleweight in the world and certainly a couple of levels up from what Murray is used to.

Sturm test: Murray (left) faces a tough examination in Germany

Sturm test: Murray (left) faces a tough examination in Germany

I am not saying it is Mission: Impossible, but is a big, big ask. Not beyond him, of course, but tough nonetheless.

Matthew Macklin is a decent fighter who I rate highly and beating Sturm, in front of his own fans, proved beyond him. I know plenty of people thought Macklin won that fight, but I'll be honest and admit that I thought the German did just enough down the stretch.

Murray's punches could be telling - he has the strength, determination and a decent jab - but we haven't seen him overly tested, fighting on the back foot when things aren't going his way.

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
WBA Middleweight Title
Felix Sturm v Matthew Murray
9.45pm, Fri, Sky Sports HD1

I think Matthew let him have a few good rounds at the end and with a fighter of Sturm's experience and skill, he knows how to capitalise. Murray and his trainer, Oliver Harrison, will have watched that and cannot afford to make the same mistake.

The key will be keeping up that intensity from the first to last bell. Sturm definitely underestimated Macklin and there is a chance that, because Murray has probably done less on the world stage, he won't take him seriously either.

But, I'm afraid for Martin, the likelihood is that will have served as a warning to Sturm and he won't do that again.

A real handful

Murray can be a real handful. We've seen him breaking people down, but we've never seen him do it at anywhere near this sort of level.

This is certainly a few steps higher than he's used to, but it's a great opportunity. He has done nothing wrong so far, so we don't know how he will react to going into the lion's den.

It's a big, big ask and we don't know how good Murray can be. But what we do know is that he's not going to outbox Sturm - even Oscar De La Hoya couldn't outbox him!

Macklin showed the way to do it, taking Sturm's jab and his plan away. Murray's punches could be more telling - he has the strength, determination and a decent jab - but we haven't seen him overly tested, fighting on the back foot when things aren't going his way.

That's not to say he can't up his game and reach the level needed to beat Sturm. Murray looks a fine athlete and works hard, but you never really know about a fighter until they are backed up; you never see the man in the boxer until then.

Nothing to lose

This could be a good division for Murray because if he wins the title there are great domestic world title fights out there for him. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

However, I don't think many people would put Murray down as favourite, especially not with the judges in Germany. But the kid has got depth and solidity to him and whatever the result I think, like Darren Barker, he will come out of the fight with a lot of credit and his stock will rise.

As for Sturm, the Macklin fight took a lot out of him but he dug deep, came back and showed a lot of character. He's been around for a long while, though, and now could be the right time to get him.

But I'm going for the champion to retain his title either on points or via a late stoppage. The timing may favour Murray, but I just feel the bridge is a little too far for him.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Philip Lee says...

hi, think martin the power murray knows how to beat the experience german at hes own game, macklin done it but from the last two rounds martin will not stop from start to finish....and the new world middleweight champion of the worl is martin the power murrrraaayyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 17:37 30th November 2011

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Boxing Blogs:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Jamie Moore

Blackpool shock?

Jamie Moore goes through the eight-strong Prizefighter line-up and of course, picks his winner....

Latest News RSS feeds

Smith: I'll beat 'old' Abraham

Paul Smith believes Arthur Abraham is past his best and plans to pull off a convincing win over the WBO champion.

Floyd: Manny deal not done yet

Floyd Mayweather Jr has poured cold water on recent reports claiming a mega-fight with Manny Pacquiao has been agreed.

Limond faces Jenkins in Leeds

Willie Limond will defend his British light-welterweight title against Chris Jenkins on April 11, live on Sky Sports.

Smith receives Eubank support

Paul Smith received advice from former world champion Chris Eubank ahead of his rematch with WBO king Arthur Abraham.

Rose shock on Valentine's Day

Brian Rose was controversially stopped in the first round by Carson Jones in front of his home crowd in Blackpool.

Features

Prizefighters: Meet the middleweights who will be scrapping for success in Blackpool

Prizefighters: Meet the middleweights who will be scrapping for success in Blackpool

There will be no love lost on Valentine's Day as eight middleweights gather in Blackpool for Prizefighter.

Prizefighter has produced plenty of drama since it started in 2008

Prizefighter has produced plenty of drama since it started in 2008

Prizefighter is back on Sky Sports this weekend and we have marked it's return by looking back at memorable moments in the tournament's history.

Isaac Chamberlain spent a month sparring Deontay Wilder before his pro debut

Isaac Chamberlain spent a month sparring Deontay Wilder before his pro debut

Spending a month with Deontay Wilder in Alabama before his world title fight is not the usual preparation for a 20-year-old Londoner ahead of his pro debut.