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Martin Murray vs. Dimitri Chudinov this Saturday

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By Scott Gilfoid: Former three time world title challenger Martin Murray (33-4-1, 16 KOs) is arguably entering the last chance saloon this Saturday night in his fight against #3 WBA middleweight contender Dimitri Chudinov (19-1-2, 12 KOs) on the Luis Ortiz vs. Malik Scott card at the Salle des Etoilles, in Monte Carlo.

A loss for Murray against the hard hitting Chudinov would be bad news for his sinking boxing career. With three losses in his last seven fights, Murray’s once promising career is on the brink of implosion.

Murray must stop losing all the time when facing better fighters, because he’s nowhere with his career. Murray was supposed to be fighting former two division world champion Arthur Abraham for this fight, but he pulled out of the fight with an injury.

Normally, you would say that’s good for Murray, because he already was beaten by him, and a second loss would be a disaster. But the replacement opponent, Chudinov, is an even tougher foe than Abraham in my view, because he’s nonstop puncher with very, very heavy hands.

Chudinov doesn’t hit quite as hard as Abraham, but he throws a lot more shots, and he never stops coming. If all Murray is going to do is hide behind his guard like we’ve seen from him in the past, then he’s going to take a real beating in this fight and wind up losing the contest. A loss to Chudinov would be Murray’s fourth defeat in the last year alone.


The World Boxing Council would likely drop Murray entirely from their top 15 rankings. He’s currently ranked t #13 WBC, but I cannot see him continuing to be ranked in the top tier.

It’s understandable why Murray is taking a risky fight against Chudinov, because a win over him would give him a big push up the rankings at 168. However, Murray doesn’t seem to be learning from his defeats. In each of his losses, he’s made the same mistake repeatedly not throwing shots, and spending way too much time covering up.

Murray lost his last fight to George Groves by a 12 round unanimous decision last June. Murray lost the fight for the same reason he was beaten by Arthur Abraham and Sergio Martinez in the past by failing to throw enough punches. In all three of those defeats, Murray hid behind his clam-shell guard during the crucial rounds and failed to let his hands go.

In boxing, you don’t win fights by hiding behind your clam-shell guard the way that Murray has done repeatedly. Frankly, I don’t want the problem is for Murray that causes him to hide behind his clamshell guard instead of throwing punches. Is it a stamina issue? Does Murray lack the stamina to fight hard for three minutes of every round or does he simply not fancy the give and take of exchanging shots when facing better competition. I don’t really know. I have noticed that when Murray is fighting fodder opposition, he has no problems with letting his hands go and fighting hard for three minutes of each round. I just don’t understand why Murray doesn’t do this when he faces the better fighters at the top of the sport. I think Murray could have easily beaten Sergio Martinez, Abraham and Groves if he had thrown 60 to 80 punches per round in those fights. That was the missing ingredient in each of those fights. Groves was practically begging to be beaten in his last fight, because on the rare occasions that Murray went on the attack mode, Groves looked ready to be knocked out. All it would have taken was nonstop punching from Murray instead of him attacking in brief spurts. Instead, Murray threw a handful of punches, and then went back into hiding behind his clam-shell guard. Groves took full advantage of that by throwing shots around Murray’s high guard and hurting him. In this case, it didn’t help Murray to hide behind his guard, because Groves knew how to place his shots around the guard. Heck, Murray would have been better off going for broke by fighting it out. At least if Murray had done that, he would have had a chance to win the fight instead of quietly surrendering in effect by hiding behind his old clam-shell. Believe me, it’s always better for fighters to go out on their shield while trying to win their fights than it is for them to hide behind their guard the way that Murray typically does and just giving the fight away meekly.

Murray, 34, cannot afford to lose to Chudinov if he wants to remain a relevant fighter in the hunt for yet another world title shot. Goodness knows, Murray has had chances repeatedly in world title shots against Sergio Martinez, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Arthur Abraham and has come up short on each occasion. Murray deserved the title shot against Martinez the first time around, but I don’t think he earned his title shots against Golovkin or Abraham. Murray royally blew it in his losses to Sergio Martinez

The heavy handed Chudinov is now fighting at light heavyweight, and he seems to be more suited towards that weight class than when he was fighting at 160. Chudinov was beaten by Chris Eubank Jr. last year by a 12th round knockout in February 2015. That loss seems like it took place a million years ago, because Chudinov has been busy sine then in winning his last five fights against Geard Ajetovic, Siarhei Krapshyla, Benjamin Simon, Marat Khuzeev and Andrejs Pokumeiko. Granted, those are not high quality fighters, but Chudinov has gotten some much needed work at improving his game.

In Chudinov’s loss to Eubank Jr., he looked very raw and not the finished product. By winning his last five fights, Chudinov has gotten the chance to get more work in improve his boxing skills to make him a better fighter. Chudinov obviously isn’t going to be able to make much headway in improving his less than impressive hand speed, but it probably won’t matter because he’s facing a guy that likes to cover up a great deal in Murray.

Prediction

I expect Murray to revert to form on Saturday night by covering up through most of every round, and letting Chudinov tee off on him. The judges won’t give Murray too many rounds with him hiding behind his high guard in that manner, of course. As such, I predict that Chudinov will win by a 12 round decision in an easy fashion. I also believe a knockout for Chudinov is not out of the question.


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