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Why Martin Murray is not the right opponent for GGG

Gennady GolovkinBy E. Martinez: Last Saturday evening the next opponent for WBA/IBO/WBC (Interim) Middle Weight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (31-0, 28 KO’s) was finalized. Martin Murray (29-1-1, 12KO’s) of England was selected to face Golovkin this coming February in Monte Carlo. Murray was chosen after a 7 round technical decision victory over Domenico Spada, in a fight that was a less than exciting affair.

Murray is a durable opponent whose popularity is probably not what it should be at this point in his career due to his inability to fight in the United States for legal reasons. Nonetheless, Murray is best known for two fights, neither of which he won.

Murray fought to a controversial draw with Germany’s Felix Strum in a fight that many fans believed Murray should have won. Murray followed up that fight with a match against former Lineal Middle Weight Champion Sergio Martinez in front of a crowd of what looked to be about a million people in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Murray fought the majority of that fight with a high guard and a boring style and did next to nothing offensively for the first half of the fight. Aside from a flash knockdown produced by Murray it was a seemingly forgettable fight in which Martinez was awarded a close, but correct, points victory.

Murray’s most recent victory was over Spada, who is the same person that was defeated by former interim WBC Middle Weight Champion Marco Antonio Rubio. Golovkin quickly destroyed Rubio who previously looked impressive in his bought with Spada.

At this point in time the Boxing public is starting to truly demand a fight between GGG and a big name opponent. Rightfully so. Unfortunately, Miguel Cotto, Carl Froch, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr are all unwilling to face Golovkin. Andre Ward has said that he would fight Golovkin, however he is currently in the midst of litigation and cannot fight until his current legal issues are resolved. The reasons/excuses for boxers not to fight GGG seem to be never ending, which is extremely frustrating for both fans and seemingly GGG and his promotional team. Still, it was a mistake to sign a fight so quickly with Murray when there was still potentially one big name opponent out there.

Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) is coming off of a TKO loss to a revived Miguel Cotto in a fight where he was mostly pummeled and punished for ten rounds until his corner stepped in. Martinez had previously brushed off the idea of fighting Golovkin. Now things have changed. After taking a beating from Cotto, losing his title, and being near forty years old Martinez’s days in the sport are numbered. He could use one more good pay day and he still has a great fan base for a non pay-per-view fight.

Martinez claimed that it was not his knee or the overall deterioration of his body that caused his poor performance against Cotto. Martinez stated that it was simply a crushing blow from Cotto in round one which caused him to eventually fold. Martinez has stated he wants to fight again and that he is awaiting medical results stating whether or not he can.

K2 promotions should have tried to land the Monte Carlo fight with Martinez (pending the said medial results), who also currently resides in Europe, before signing on to fight Murray. Is Martinez the perfect opponent for GGG? The answer is clearly NO. However, it was not so long ago that Martinez defeated a prime Murray. After all, GGG is looking for big names, and Martinez is still a bigger name than Murray. And he hits a lot harder too.

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