Felix Sturm held to a draw by Britain’s Martin Murray
Martin Murray came close to claiming a world title as he drew with WBA super-middleweight champion Felix Sturm in Germany
Felix Sturm retained his WBA middleweight championship despite being held to a draw by Britain’s Martin Murray in Mannheim, Germany on Friday night.
It was another controversial title defence for Sturm, who was matched punch for punch by his inexperienced British challenger.
After a long delay the bout was declared a draw, with the judges’ score cards reading: 116-112 115-113 and 114-114.
The fight was even throughout, Sturm using his accurate, piston like jab, to inflict constant damage, Murray pressurising his opponent on the inside.
There was no real period of dominance for either boxer, with both winning rounds after the other appeared to be dictating the direction of the fight.
Sturm landed the best punch of the fight late in the final round, rocking Murray with a huge right hand, the Brit only surviving because of the final bell.
Murray started well, showing that the jump to world level did not come too soon for him. He matched Sturm from the off and landed decent punches through the German’s high guard.
The middle of the fight was controlled by the champion, using his excellent jab and well-timed right hand to pin Murray against the ropes and land telling blows.
However, Sturm was never able to establish any real control over the bout as Murray responded to any periods of dominance with his own flurries.
The eighth round was the best for Murray, landing multiple power punches in the centre of the ring, intimidating the German champion and dictating the pace.
In the end the fight had to be determined by the judges, and whether they liked the style and accuracy of Sturm or the pressure and output of Murray.
A draw was by no means unfair as many of the rounds were immensely close and a rematch between the two would be brilliant.
After the fight Murray said: “First of all I want to thank my team. We thought we had won; I did enough to rip it off him [Sturm] in his own back yard. I’m Gutted we didn’t get the win, but that’s what you expect in Germany.
“We have always known we were class, we just needed that opportunity. We belong on that level.”