Murat Defeats Campillo

By Boxing News - 09/22/2008 - Comments

murad53.jpgBy Erik Schmidt: Undefeated super middleweight Karo Murat (18-0, 11 KOs) successfully defended his EBU (European) super middleweight title with an unimpressive 12-round majority decision over his non-top 15 ranked opponent Gabriel Campillo (16-2, 6 KOs) on Saturday night at the Seidensticker Halle, Bielefeld, in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. The final judges’ scores were 115-113, 115-115 and 115-113. I personally have Campillo, the much busier and accurate of the two fighters, winning seven rounds to five. Murat, ranked #5th in the WBA, #7th in the WBC and #15 in the IBF, looked slow in comparison to Campillo, and loaded up often with big body shots. Murat did particularly well in the first two rounds, hitting Campillo, from Spain, with hard body shots with both hands and missing few punches.

However, as the fight progressed, Campillo began moving more hitting the shorter Murat with an avalanche of jabs to the head, reddening his face and making him look anything but a champion. The problem for Murat was that his height (5’10”) and limited reach kept him from landing shots against the taller 6’2″ Campillo, forcing him to wade through a storm of leather each time he wanted to throw one of his body shots. The other problem, it seems, is that Murat proved to be only a so-so puncher for a fighter with as high a percentage of knockouts as he has. Up until now, most of his knockouts have come at the expense of marginal opposition, and when he finally had to face a decent fighter (not great in any stretch of the imagination) in Campillo, his punches had little if any effect on him.

This meant that Murat was forced to win the hard way, by defeating Campillo on points. For a fighter like Murat who had depended largely on winning by knockouts, to have to try and outpoint a good boxer like Campillo, it was like an uphill climb for someone totally unsuited for climbing hills. After landing well to the body in the first two rounds, and appearing to win them quite easily, the fight changed from the 3rd round as Campillo took over with his jab and side to side movement. Campillo, a former light heavyweight, fought incredibly well given his complete lack of power, hitting shorter Murat with dozens of hard jabs in every round and hard left hands.

It was like watching a master painter putting together a Rembrandt painting as Campillo jabbed the crude-fighting Murat with ease, keeping him at arm’s length and completely helpless to land his own shots. When Murat would eventually get in position to land, he had already been hit countless times by jabs to the head from Campillo. Even then, Murat’s weak body shots did little damage, those that landed. Much of the time, Murat missed with his close range shots, looking awkward and clumsy.

Campillo appeared to easily win every round from the third until the seventh, stabbing Murat with flicking jabs and reddening his face to a bright red. In between rounds, Murat gasped for breath with his mouth completely open, reminding me of a large, red-faced fish out of water. He looked in bad shape. In the 7th, Murat was dominated for the entire round, but in the last 20 seconds of the round, he stormed Campillo and threw a flurry of shots, many missing but some landing.

That was probably enough for some of the judges to award the round to Murat, although I couldn’t do it because he had lost the first 2 1/2 minutes of the round and most of his weak punches he threw in the last 30 seconds missed their mark. Campillo responded well in the 8th round, jabbing Murat like crazy and giving him huge problems with movement. Like in the previous round, however, Murat rushed Campillo in the last 30 seconds and threw another wild flurry with most missing but some landing.

This is a trick that German trainers teach their fighters in order to get them to win a round that they probably have no business winning given the fact that the fighter is being outworked in the first 3/4ths of the round. However, it works because many of the judges can only remember what happens in the last seconds of the round, and seem to ignore the rest of the round. I couldn’t give Murat this round, because he was too lethargic and did little in the vast majority of the round, and the little bit he did in the last waning seconds of the round wasn’t sufficient to ignore all the good work that Campillo did.

Murat fought hard in the 9th, finally putting in some much needed effort to win a round. He took a whole lot of punches to the head, but he still was able to land the better shots, enough possibly to win the round. It could have been an even round, but I figured the judges would give it to him. In the 10th round, once again, Campillo dominated virtually the entire round and Murat came on in the last 40s to throw a flurry of shots to try and steal the round.

Murat’s nose was bleeding and his face had reddened even more by this time, and he looked like someone had painted his face with a bucket of red paint. This was turning out to be a much harder fight than he or his trainers had expected it to be when they signed on to fight Campillo. Murat fought well in the 11th round, landing cleanly to the body and head. He looked his best since the 2nd round and did a good job of cutting off the ring on Campillo and preventing him from moving as much.

However, Murat acted as if he had the fight in the bag in the 12th round, moving around the ring as if he were trying to run out the clock. It was ridiculous given how badly he had fought from rounds three until seven, but he might have felt confident that because the fight was in Germany, he might get the nod by the judges if there were any doubt. For the most part, Murat just covered up with his hands held high in front of his face, moving around the ring and taking jabs to the head. It was another easy round for Campillo.

Overall, it was a bad performance by Murat, who struggled badly to get a win over an unranked opponent. Murat didn’t deserve the win, and I’m concerned what will happen to him once he’s forced to face a top fighter in the super middleweight division. I don’t like his chances at beating few if any fighters in the division to be honest. He might be better served to try and lose some weight and move down in weight to the middleweight division. He’s a bit too short in height and reach for the super middleweight division, and his power and hand speed are both sorely lacking for a super middleweight.

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