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Perez-Crolla ends in draw; Quigg destroys Martinez; Murray stops Bajrektarevic

Kiko Martinez Scott QuiggBy Scott Gilfoid: Referee Howard Foster inserted himself into the fight in the 11th and 12th rounds, taking off points from Darleys Perez (33-1-1, 20 KOs) for low blows, resulting in his fight against #11 WBA fringe contender Anthony Crolla (29-5-2 11 KOs) being scored a 12 round draw on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.

The final judges’ scores were 114-113 for Perez, 116-111 for Crolla and 113-113. I had Perez winning the fight 10 rounds to 2. I didn’t buy the low blow stuff that went on in the 11th and 12th. It was a case of Crolla pulling Perez’s head down while he was throwing punches, and I didn’t see how the referee could have taken points off from that. But besides that, Perez won both the 11th and 12th rounds on my card, so they were even rounds.

Perez controlled the fight with his harder shots and cleaner landing punches. Crolla threw more shots, but was missing and hitting arms all night long. The crowd was cheering every missed punch that Crolla threw, and this obviously had an impact on the scoring. If you watched the fight with the sound off, as I did, you’ll notice that Perez dominated the fight and landed the cleaner shots.

It was really sad though the way Crolla played the referee each time he got hit low or on the belt line. Instead of continuing to fight, Crolla would back off each time he was hit on the belt line and look like he was in pain. I think Crolla should have been warned and penalized for this behavior or it should have been counted as knockdowns because he was getting hit on the belt line, not with low shots. The referee Howard Foster really ruined the fight with his point deductions. Actually, he saved Crolla from losing the fight by taking those two points off because without those point deductions, Perez would have won.

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WBA World super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) destroyed former IBF 122lb world champion Kiko Martinez (32-6, 24 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout to retain his WBA world title. Quigg knocked Martinez down twice in the 2nd round with right hands to the head. After Martinez got up from the 2nd knockdown, referee Terry O’Connor waived off the fight. The official stoppage was 1:04 of the round. The stoppage looked to be premature in my book because Martinez looked like he could have continued, but O’Connor didn’t let him.

Martinez dominated the 1st round, walking a constantly moving Quigg down and nailing him with hard shots to the head and body. It was so one-sided that there was no way that Quigg could continue in this direction without losing a one-sided fight. Fortunately for Quigg, he was able to hurt Martinez with a looping shot in the 2nd round that appeared to hit Martinez behind the head. Once Quigg had Martinez hurt, he flurried on him until he dropped to the canvas. After he got back up, Martinez foolishly failed to clinch, and this led to Quigg throwing another flurry of punches to drop him for the second time in the round.

“In the first round I tested his power and I knew he would gain a bit of confidence,” Quigg said after the fight. “In the second it set it up for the shot we had been working for. And it was a peach of an uppercut. I looked a bit wild, but kept as calm as possible and finished him.”

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Former three time middleweight world title challenger Martin Murray (31-2-1, 14 KOs) stopped little known Croatian fighter Mirzet Bajretarevic (14-4, 8 KOs) by a very, very odd looking 5th round stoppage. The referee appeared to stop the fight for no reason after Bajretarevic was hit by a couple of slapping right hands from Murray.

Bajretarevic wasn’t hurt at all, and it just seemed like the referee lost his senses for a second jumped in without having any reason at all. The stoppage marred fight because there was no clear result. What we did see was that the 32-year-old Murray did not look impressive in this fight against a 2nd tier fighter.

Against a guy of this level, Murray should have been able to look good and win in style, but he failed to do this. Granted, this was a fight in the super middleweight division for Murray, who clearly isn’t accustomed to fighting in this division, but Murray should have been able to do better than this. Murray was controlling the rounds, but he did not look that much better than Bajretarevic. I thought Murray looked better than his opponent, but he was nowhere near as good as the top 10 contenders in the 168lb division.

As mediocre as Murray looked in this fight, I think he needs to go on a diet and move back down to middleweight, because he doesn’t belong at super middleweight in my eyes. We pretty saw that tonight in Murray having to struggle to beat a very limited fighter at super middleweight.

I can’t see Murray going anywhere at 168. Yeah, his promoter Eddie Hearn will get him a world title shot at some point, but I don’t see Murray winning. If Hearn makes the mistake of putting Murray in with an actual contender at super middleweight, I see Murray losing. I don’t think he can beat any of the contenders in the top 15.


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