Undefeated KO specialist Gennady Golovkin produced a scintillating display against a courageous Martin Murray to stop the British fighter in the eleventh round of their world middleweight title fight in Monte Carlo.
The WBA and IBO champion had way too much power for challenger Murray from the off and hardly gave away a round on his way to a career-best victory against most definitely his toughest opponent to date through 32 contests.
Murray took heavy punishment from the word go, bravely countering back with his own shots intelligently at times, but just didn’t have the capacity to take Golovkin’s heavy artillery which came from all angles to the head and body.
The St Helens man was down twice in the fourth round from some wicked body shots and looked as though he could be stopped there and then. The 32 year-old fought back to his credit to take Golovkin further than any other opponent has before him. Murray enjoyed his best round in the ninth as ‘GGG’ took a session off, although it was just the calm before the storm as Golovkin then poured on the pressure to drop Murray again in the tenth.
Despite getting through the round, Murray was on the edge of defeat as experienced referee Luis Pabon took a closer look into the eleventh and eventually stepped in when the ex-British champion was clobbered to the head once again.
Golovkin proved why there is so much talk about him being one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world alongside the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Wladimir Klitschko and Miguel Cotto – with an array of shots that any boxer would be proud of.
From his over-the-top corkscrew left to his stunning punches to the solar plexus, Golovkin really has it all and coupled with his brute strength, it’s hard to see where else the Kazakh could go now at 160 apart from a meeting with WBC title holder Cotto.
Over in Germany, Murray’s compatriot Paul Smith gave another spirited effort against Arthur Abraham but once again came up short as his lack of punching power told in a second straight points loss in Germany.
Abraham was much more on his game in the rematch to the delight of the Berlin crowd and saw out a far less controversial 117-111 (twice) and 116-112 triumph with the judges.
Smith has shown he does belong in world-class over two bouts with the tough Abraham and could now be in line for further rematches with George Groves and James DeGale once he gets back to winning ways.