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Murray Defends British Lightweight Title; Daws, Fury, Also Victorious

murray5443546By James Hughes:


Champion John Murray (Manchester, England) and challenger Lee McAllister (Aberdeen, Scotland) squared off on Saturday night, sporting records of 25-0 and 27-1 respectively. This topped ITV’s first ‘Big Fight Live’ of 2009 and may have had more publicity if it wasn’t for another British lightweight, Amir Khan. An intriguing battle saw Murray retain his title and unbeaten record, despite a slightly flawed display.

McAllister started with his fast hands and footwork enabling him to land shots and move out of Murray’s range. Murray started slowly and looked rather hittable, whereas McAllister put his punches together well, with two stylish left-right combinations standing out in the opening round. After a scrappy start to the second round, McAllister continued to land scoring shots but without really hurting Murray. In the last minute of the round Murray found his range, landing a right to the body and left hooks to the head.

Round 3 was a turning point because Murray’s defence tightened up a bit, he adapted to McAllister’s movement by cutting the ring off and continued to land the harder shots – a right to the head, a combination and then a left to the head. McAllister responded with a couple of good right uppercuts but his nose reddened and Murray’s strength was starting to tell. This was particularly evident when McAllister retreated to the corner near the end of the round, taking several heavy shots. When he smiled and dropped his guard, Murray promptly slammed in a couple more. Perhaps this, and what was said in the corner, was a wakeup call for the Scot. He returned to his boxing in the 4th round, countering Murray well when he came forward. Only in the last 30 seconds did Murray manage to land anything even half-decent. It wouldn’t last however.

In the 5th round Murray came straight after McAllister, perhaps fired up by some afters at the end of round 4. He had to walk through a few punches but was landing to both the body and head again after a short time, with a left to the body rocking McAllister back into the corner, where he would take a right hook and a peach of a left hook to head. Though he took it well, Murray continued to overpower him with combinations to head, driving him into the ropes on the other side of the ring. McAllister’s fleet of foot had gone and his nose was bloodied. For the remainder of the round, an outgunned McAllister resorted to kidology, achieving nothing except for taking more shots.

After an untidy start to the 6th, McAllister outboxed Murray briefly but then got caught again. With his man retreating to the ropes, Murray unleashed another barrage of shots with both hands. McAllister found safer quarters in the centre of the ring and again outboxed Murray for a short while, but his shots were too weak to stop him coming forwards. Murray resorted to some rougher tactics and was correctly warned by referee John Keane for a low blow. However, the snap of McAllister’s punches had gone and Murray was in control, landing the cleaner and harder shots. That continued in round 7 as Murray walked through McAllister’s shots and forced his man onto the ropes. Once there, Murray took the chance to land several shots to the body. This pattern would be repeated at the end of round as Murray went upstairs first, then downstairs to drill in hurtful body shots, leaving McAllister looking a defeated man. Unfortunately, Murray’s rule-bending also continued, as he added to the low blow from the previous round, with a forearm in the face and use of the inside of the glove again (a repeat of round 2). He was lucky not to lose a point.

The 8th round proved to be the final one and a short one. Murray came charging forward and McAllister’s punches were being taken on the gloves by this point. After aiming a couple of hooks to the Scot’s head, the Englishman launched a perfect left hook to the body, sending his opponent crumbling to the canvas. While there, McAllister gave his corner a couple of shakes of head. On bravely getting to his feet just in time to beat the count, the referee correctly stopped the fight.


Lenny Daws vs. Sergejs Savrinovics


Light-welterweight Lenny Daws (18-1) stepped up a division and defeated a game but outclassed Sergejs Savrinovics (4-11-1). Working behind his left jab, Daws used his superior reach and workrate to keep ahead throughout the fight, with Savrinovics not managing to get in close enough, often enough. The opening two rounds followed a similar pattern with both fighters looking for combinations but Daws landing more, with a particularly eye-catching one in the second round. Daws’ control of the fight continued at the start of round 3 as he backed the Latvian fighter onto the ropes several times, landing good shots to the body. Savrinovics landed a left uppercut and a good right hand later in the round, but these were single shots and Daws also finished stronger.

The pressure didn’t stop in round 4 as Daws landed with both hands, while his opponent’s workrate dropped off. Savrinovics resorted to trying big shots later in the round but succeeded only in getting caught while off balance and falling back in corner. The 5th round carried on in much the same vein, with Daws landing to the body frequently. In round 6, perhaps sensing he had his man struggling, Daws continued to pummel Savrinovics to the body, then later the head. The Latvian could only manage sporadic single shots so it was a matter of time before the end, which referee Howard Foster brought about before the round was out.

Tyson Fury vs. Marcel Zeller


British heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury (2-0) easily dispatched the more experienced Marcel Zeller (21- 4) in just his second professional fight. Zeller had 20 KO’s on his record, but 7 of those fighters were making their debut and a further 5 hadn’t won a fight. Nevertheless, it represented a step up for Fury.

Zeller came out fast at the start, looking to get in close and land to the body. Fury avoided him and would land the first meaningful blow though with a solid right hand. With Zeller in the corner, Fury would follow this up with several stinging right uppercuts and hooks that hurt the German, showing good hand speed. The pace slowed a little in round 2 as Fury worked behind a solid left jab to keep Zeller in reverse and bloody his nose. Towards the end of the round Fury found his uppercut again, following it up with left hooks to the body.

The third round saw Fury land a low right hand for which he was rightly warned and Zeller took a minute to recover. The German should perhaps have taken longer, when the action resumed Fury looked to pierce his guard with both hands, with some success. After leaving himself open to a combination from Zeller, he got a crunching right hand through and with Zeller then taking punishment on the ropes, the referee stepped in a little prematurely. However, the fight would

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