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Can Murray beat Martinez?

Latest Sergio Martinez(Photos Courtesy HBO/Will Hart) By Thomas Cowan: This Saturday, British middleweight Martin Murray faces WBC middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Martinez hasn’t fought in Argentina for 11 years and the crowd is expected to exceed 40,000.

The Argentinian president is expected to attend which shows how highly Martinez is regarded in his homeland. Martinez was voted to most popular sportsman in Argentina ahead of soccer star Lionel Messi and anyone who knows anything about soccer will know that’s a big deal.

The nationality of Martinez’s opponent is definitely no coincidence. As soon as it was announced that he’d be fighting in Argentina, I knew he would pick Murray as his opponent. The rivalry between Argentina and Britain is fierce and bitter after the Falklands War in 1982 and facing a Brit will create even more interest in the fight for Argentinians. Martinez already knocked out Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker so Murray was the obvious choice of opponent.

Murray is undefeated, the only blemish on his record being a draw with Felix Sturm when he challenged the German for his WBA title. I had Murray winning that fight 115-114 but it was a close fight and a draw was a pretty fair result and considering the fight was held in Germany, I’m surprised the judges didn’t have Sturm winning by a lopsided decision.

Not many people are giving Murray a chance in this fight but Martinez has been knocked down in both of his last two fights so there’s definitely vulnerability there. The problem is Murray lacks power so I can’t see him putting Martinez on the canvas unless the Martinez starts to get very tired in the later rounds.

Prediction: Martinez to win by 10th round knockout

On the undercard, #1 WBC welterweight contender Luis Carlos Abregu acts as chief support for his fellow Argentinian as he faces Canadian Antonin Decarie for the WBC Silver title. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve never understood the point of Inter-Continental, International and Silver titles. Supposedly, they make it easier to get a shot at the full title and bridge the gap between national titles and world honours but it seems pointless to me.

Regardless, Abregu is a good fighter, whose sole loss came against Timothy Bradley in 2010. He seems to be aiming for a crack at the WBC title but Floyd Mayweather holds that and there’s no way that fight will happen. The only was Abregu will get his hands on that title is if the WBC strip Mayweather and that will never happen in a million years because the sanctioning fee that Mayweather pays will be 100 times what Abregu would pay.

Despite this, Abregu’s career is progressing pretty well and I can’t see feather-fisted Decarie giving him too many problems.

Prediction: Abregu to win by 6th round KO

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