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Martin Murray vs. Arthur Abraham possible for November 12

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By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (45-5, 30 KOs) and Martin Murray (33-4-1, 16 KOs) will be reportedly facing each other in a rematch on November 12 at Salle Des Etoiles, in Monaco. Abraham, 36, defeated Murray by a 12 round split decision in November of 2015. Now they’ll be facing each other again. Murray is currently ranked at #13 by the WBC at 158. A second loss to Abraham could knock Murray completely out of the top 15. That would be a huge career blow for the 34-year-old.

It’s unclear what’s at stake with this fight, but it’s not hard to guess that the winner of the fight will likely wind up facing WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) for his World Boxing Organization 168lb title. Abraham was whipped by Ramirez last April on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley card on HBO pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When I say ‘whipped,’ I really mean it. Abraham was beaten in every sense of the word in losing his WBO title by a lopsided12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108. For Abraham, who usually fights in Germany in front of Germany fans that root for him, he was lost without his fans to cheer him on and give him energy in the fight. I was a total schooling from the moment the fight started.

Abraham has fought once since losing to Ramirez in beating Tim Robin Lihauag by an 8th round knockout last July. That was a dreadful mismatch, but it was expected given that Abraham was coming off a loss to Ramirez.

I don’t know where Abraham is going to go even if he beats Murray. Yeah, Abraham can fight Gilberto Ramirez again, but what for? He’s not going to beat him. If you saw how BADLY Abraham was beaten by Ramirez last April, it just does not make sense for the two fighters to ever face each other again in this current lifetime. Abraham needs to go in another direction to try his luck against WBC belt holder Badou Jack, Giovanni De Carolis or James DeGale.

Abraham is ranked #2 by the WBO, but he really shouldn’t bother fighting Ramirez again because the young 24-year-old Mexican fighter’s fighting style is all wrong for him. Ramirez moves too much, he’s too tall, throws too many punches, and he’s too hard to hit for a limited plodder like Abraham to ever beat him. I think Abraham would have a chance of beating Felix Sturm, De Carolis, DeGale or Jack, but definitely not Ramirez. That guy is all wrong for Abraham. I’m just saying.

Murray, 34, has lost two out of his last three fights. Besides his loss to Abraham, he was beaten by George Groves in his last fight in June at the O2 arena in London, England. Murray spent much of the fight covering up in his clam-shell defense. He frequently backed up to the ropes like a sparring partner, and he was hurt in the later rounds.

Groves didn’t look great either, as he appeared beatable when Murray would actually throw punches. Murray just wouldn’t let his hands go in the way he needed to for him to have a chance of winning. It was the same situation with Murray’s losses to Gennady Golovkin and Sergio Martinez. Murray would go into the sparring partner mode by just covering up behind his clam shell high guard, and they were able to pound him with shots to get easy wins.

Also on the card is WBA super featherweight champion Jason Sosa (19-1-4, 15 KOs) will be defending his title against #5 WBC Stephen “Swifty” Smith possibly facing each other. Smith will be fighting against an opponent still to be determined on the undercard of the Tony Bellew vs. BJ Flores card on October 15 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

This will be the first title defense for the 28-year-old Sosa, who stopped WBA World super featherweight champion Javier Fortuna in the 11th round last June to capture his title. There was talk of Sosa fighting Jezfeel Corrales or Gervonta Davis for his maiden defense, but it looks like the 31-year-old Smith will get the fight instead on November 12th. Smith was beaten by IBF World super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza by a 12 round unanimous decision last April. Smith didn’t have the boxing skills, power or talent to compete with Pedraza. In Smith’s last fight, he defeated Daniel Eduardo Bizuela by a 7th round knockout last May.

You have to admit that Smith is not a great opponent for Sosa compared to Corrales or Gervonta Davis. Those guys would have made it interesting. Smith doesn’t have that kind of talent, and I suspect that Sosa will be too much for him. It’s not a good match-up for Smith because he’s usually the better slugger of the two when he fights, but in this case, he’s going to be up against it.

Sosa is one of five super featherweight champions in the division. I wouldn’t say he’s the best of the bunch, but he’s a decent fighter. It’s just too bad he’s not fighting Davis, Corrales, Nicholas Walters, Orlando Salido or Takashi Uchiyama, because that would be interesting.

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