Martin Murray’s fight against Fletcher won’t have WBA 160 lb. title on the line
By Scott Gilfoid: The World Boxing Association won’t be elevating WBA regular middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin to “Super World” middleweight champion, according to Fightnews. The WBA has decided, at least for now, to keep the 31-year-old Golovkin as the regular WBA middleweight champion. This means that WBA interim 160 lb. champion Martin Murray (26-1-1, 11 KO’s) will be merely making a defense of his interim title against #3 WBA Jerrod Fletcher (17-1, 10 KO’s) on February 1st and not fighting for the regular WBA middleweight crown. That makes a heck of a lot more sense than having the Murray-Fletcher fight be for a world title, because how can Murray be fighting for a world title again when he was beaten just last April by WBC champion Sergio Martinez?
The Murray-Fletcher fight will be taking place on the undercard of Golovkin’s title defense against Osumanu Adama at the Salle des etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco.
What’s kind of disappointing is that both of these fights are essentially mismatches. Adamama, 33, is ranked #14 by the WBA, and he was totally dominated by Australian Daniel Geale on a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss a year ago. He’s too slow and too mechanical to have chance at all in beating Golovkin. As far Fletcher, he’s ranked high by the WBA and only by the WBA. None of the other sanctioning bodies even have him ranked in the top 15.
In looking at some of Fletcher’s fights, I can see why he’s not ranked by the other sanctioning bodies. He looks slow and weak, and arguably a step down from Murray’s last fight against 39-year-old journeyman Sergey Khomitsky. Fletcher has a good record at 17-1, but the guys that he’s beaten to get that 17-1 record have been an odd assortment of woeful opposition. The fact that the WBA has Fletcher ranked at #3 by their organization when his best of his career is against Phillip Kotey is a sad statement about the mickey mouse rankings by the WBA.
Fletcher did try and step it up last year and was blasted out in just 2 rounds by Billy Joe Saunders. I don’t even consider that as a real step up, because I think there’s much, much better fighters in the middleweight division than the light hitting Saunders. But the fact that Fletcher was knocked out in 2 rounds just a year ago, it makes the WBA’s high ranking of him laughable. That in turn makes Murray’s fight with him confusing. Why fight a guy that was knocked out in 2 rounds by Saunders? Shouldn’t Murray be stepping it up against a live body?