Martin Murray: If I can’t beat Roberto Garcia, I’m finished
By Scott Gilfoid: ormer four division world champion Martin Murray says he could be at the end of his career if he loses to WBC Silver middleweight champion Roberto Garcia this Saturday night in their fight at the O2 Arena in London, England.
I hate to say this but Murray is finished whether he defeats Roberto Garcia or not. Even if he destroys Garcia, Murray isn’t going to do anything if he faces one of the good fighters in the middleweight division. This is all about Murray trying to stay alive to get a fifth world title shot.
Murray, 35, wants to fight for a world title one more time to become the only British fighter to challenge for a world title on five occasions. Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs) came close to getting a fifth title shot against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, but the champion pulled out of their June 23 fight after suffering a hamstring injury.
Losing to Garcia shouldn’t mean the end for Murray. It’s not as if he’s ever been one of the best fighters in the 160lb weight class. Murray has always been an excellent middleweight gatekeeper, but he’s never been the type of talent that would suggest that he can beat with the top guys in the division. Garcia isn’t a top fighter, but he’s a good top 10 fighter with punching power, skills and a high work rate. Murray as struggled during his career when fighting guys with high work rate and heavy hands.
Murray was still in his prime when he lost to Sergio Martinez, who was fighting on a surgically repaired right knee and wasn’t anywhere near full strength for that fight. Even the gimpy-kneed Martinez was able to beat Murray with his high work rate. Garcia is a lot more healthy than Sergio Martinez was when he fought Murray in 2013, and I suspect that he’s going to do a real job on him.
Garcia (41-3, 24 KOs) is a good fighter with nice skills, and more than enough power to give Murray problems. The only thing that is working against Garcia is his age. He’s 38-years-old, and he hasn’t fought quality fighter since his loss to Antonio Margarito eight years ago in 2010, and he lost to him by a 10 round unanimous decision.
“I’m a world-class fighter, and I know there’s another world title fight in me,” Murray said to ESPN.com.”I’m still there, and I’m a survivor. If I can’t beat this next opponent, it would have to be the end because I should be beating guys like him. It’s the last chance — if I can’t beat him, I’m finished.”
Murray’s losses in the past were his fault. He wasn’t robbed. He simply spent too much time covering up behind clamshell guard. Murray might have been given wins against Sergio Martinez, Felix Sturm and Arthur Abraham if he’d had the fights taken with a different set of judges than the ones that worked the fights, but the fact of the matter is he didn’t do enough to get the victories. I personally had Murray losing all three of those fights.
Murray has had the bad luck of fighting for world titles against good champions in Gennady Golovkin, Sergio Martinez, Arthur Abraham and Felix Sturm. Those guys had too much talent for Murray to deal with. You can call it back luck, I guess. Murray had the bad luck of challenging champions that had too much talent for him. If Murray had fought a weaker champion like Miguel Cotto in the past when he held the WBO middleweight belt, there’s a good chance that Murray would have beaten him. But even if Murray defeats the 38-year-old Roberto Garcia, he’s unlikely going to get a title shot right away. Murray is going to need the World Boxing Organization to bump him up from the #5 spot to #1 for him to get a
crack at Saunders, because he’s not going to be able to force him to defend against him if he doesn’t want to. Beating Garcia will certainly help Murray get pushed up the rankings with the sanctioning bodies, but it’s unlikely he’s going to get pushed to the number 1 spot off of a win over Roberto. It’s going to take more than beating Garcia for him to get a title shot.
“There’s no one who has ever fought for the world middleweight title five times from England, and that’s what is spurring me on,” Murray said. ”The only reason I will get another shot is if I have looked good in my previous fights.”
Murray is right that he needs to look good to have any chance of getting another world title shot, but I don’t think he’s got any chance at all of fighting Gennady Golovkin a second time. He already was knocked out by him in the 11th round in 2015. There’s no interest from the boxing fans in seeing Golovkin fight Murray a second time. The U.S fans don’t want to see GGG fight Murray ever again, as it was a very boring fight. Murray was moving and holding constantly in the fight, and he did very little actual fighting. The only guy that Murray has any change of fighting in the future is WBO champion Saunders, and I don’t think he’s going to bother rescheduling another fight against him after he pulled out of their June 23 fight.
The last time Murray lost in a world title bid was in a loss to Arthur Abraham several years ago in 2015. Murray lost the fight because he spent too much time covering up and not enough time throwing punches.
Murray arguably deserved a loss in his recent fight against Gabriel Rosado last year in April. Murray won the fight by a 12 round majority decision in his hometown in Liverpool, England. Murray looked awful in that fight in winning a fight that he clearly lost in the eyes of many boxing fans. Aside from that fight, Murray’s wins in the last three years have come against weak opposition. Just going by Murray’s wins, he doesn’t deserve to be rated as high as he is in my eyes. Here’s Murray’s wins since 2015:
– Arman Torosyan
– Gabriel Rosado – *controversial
– Nohu Lawal
– Cedric Spera
– Jose Miguel Torres
– Mirzet Bajrektarevic
– Giorgi Beroshvili