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What next for John Murray?

John Murray boxing photo and news imageBy Scott Gilfoid: It’s been a little over a month since lightweight John Murray (31-1, 18 KO’s) was humiliated and badly exposed in an 8th round knockout loss to Kevin Mitchell on July 16th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Murray, 26, still doesn’t have any fights planned and it makes you wonder how he’s going to respond to this loss.

It wasn’t just a defeat, it was crushing defeat because Murray was never even competitive with Mitchell. It was just Mitchell hitting, moving and exposing Murray’s slow hands and slow feet. It was always strange that Murray, who never looked great to begin with, was ranked in the top five by some of the sanctioning bodies despite a lack of quality opposition on his resume.

It’s interesting how the sanctioning bodies have a war of self correcting after a fighter like Murray gets destroyed, because he’s now no longer ranked in the top 15 by most of the sanctioning bodies. The only one where he’s still ranked is by the IBF and Murray might not stay there for long unless he gets back in the ring and picks up some quality wins.

However, the loss to Mitchell really showed Murray’s flaws. He’s just really slow on his feet and that’s not going to be a formula for success against all the good lightweights in the division. There’s a lot better fighters than Mitchell in the division and it’s not a good sign that Murray was dominated by a guy that would be destroyed by a lot of fighters.

Murray is going to have to make some changes to his game that I’m not sure he’s capable of if he wants to make it back on the top and eventually get a title shot. He needs hand speed, and he needs quicker feet. Those things unfortunately are qualities that you’re blessed with. Either you have them or you don’t. Unfortunately for Murray, he’s slow and doesn’t have speed. I don’t know where he can pick these items up. You can’t make yourself any quicker.

Murray is what he is – a slow fighter. What can you do? My suggestion is for him to forget about world level competition and think more in the lines of holding down the EBU title and/or British and Commonwealth titles. I think Murray is capable of winning and defending those straps. If by chance he gets ranked in the top 3 again, then so be it take a shot at one of the champions if they’ll give him a title shot. He can get a payday, but I can’t see him ever beating any of the champions. The hand speed just isn’t there.

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