St. Helens’ finest Martin Murray can argue that he should be a unified world champion at 160lbs after firstly claiming the WBA belt against Felix Sturm in 2011, before dethroning Sergio Martinez at the weekend in Argentina.
Instead, Murray has neither title in his grasp after the Briton was the victim of two hometown decisions – despite outworking and outscoring both champions in their own backyard.
At 30 years-old, time is fast running out for Murray, who suffered his first ‘loss’ to Martinez at the Velez Sarsfield stadium and now stands to be avoided by those who are in possession of the remaining belts.
There is no doubt that Murray’s reputation has soared after he put Martinez down twice in the fight, albeit without one of those being counted – but it looked for all the world that the challenger had victory in the bag until the judges read out identical 115-112 scores the other way.
Martinez suffered an injury to his knee during the fight that is set to keep him out for the remainder of 2013 and now scuppering a planned rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Calls for a return with Murray on his return next year would almost certainly fall on deaf ears as Martinez, 38, would be likely to look for a big-money match-up in the States with his career winding down.
Murray may now have to go the mandatory route to find himself a way back to another world crown, possibly switching his attention to a fight with Daniel Geale or Peter Quillin after an interim comeback win in the UK.