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Martin Murray vs. Roberto Garcia – Results

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By Scott Gilfoid: Former four division world title challenger Martin Murray (37-4-1, 17 KOs) defeated the much smaller 38-year-old WBC Silver middleweight champion Roberto Garcia (41-4, 24 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England. The scores were 116-111, 118-109 and 118-108.

Boxing News 24 scored it for Murray by 7 rounds to 5. The fight was much closer than the scored handed down by the three judges. The referee Hector Afu twice deducted points from Garcia. You can argue that Garcia shouldn’t have been docked points more than once, as the shots were belt-line jobs. There was a lot of empty seats at the O2 Arena.

In hindsight, it was a mistake for the promoters to make Murray vs. Garcia the main event. This fight was more of a first fight of the night type of contest. Yeah, Murray has fought four times for world titles, but he’s never won any of them. Putting Murray in the main event for coming up short four times at the world title level was a mistake. Perhaps of the tickets were heavily discounted to a more affordable price, the boxing fans wouldn’t have minded seeing it. Even at the nice price, I still doubt the fans would have turned out for the card because the top three fights were mismatches.

In round 1, Garcia started off well throwing body shots and doing the better work. Murray was much bigger, but he had nothing on his shots. He looked slow for his size, and the power wasn’t enough for him to win the round. Murray was the busier fighter of the two, but he was landing nothing but pitty-pat shots.

Murray did a better job in round in landing head shots and nice hooks. Garcia continued to focus on throwing to the body. The referee quickly took a point away from Garcia in the round after he landed a low blow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a referee deduct a point as fast as this referee did. Normally the referees warn fighters before they take points away. This referee pulled the trigger right away, which made it look very odd. When Murray’s shots strayed low, the referee didn’t jump on him to take a point away. Garcia was really up against it as the visiting fighter.

Garcia is a former welterweight, and his main problem was his lack of size compared to Murray, who really belongs at super middleweight. The only reason Murray has been melting down to 160 is because he can’t punch at 168. To fight at super middleweight is a waste of time for Murray because he can’t punch.

The way that Murray looked tonight against Garcia, I don’t think he rates a title shot against the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Ryota Murta or Billy Joe Saunders. Sadly, I can see Murata throwing Murray a bone by giving him a title shot due to him being utterly beatable and being recognizable to the hardcore boxing fans. I doubt the casual fans in Japan will know who Murray is. Before Murray gets a fifth world title shot, I’d like to see him actually earn it for a change by fighting the likes of Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo or Demetrius Andrade. Heck, I’d be happy just to see Murray fight David Lemieux. That would be a tremendous step up from the guys that Murray has been fighting since his loss to George Groves in 2016.

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In other boxing results on the card, unbeaten light heavyweight Anthony Yarde (16-0, 15 KOs) stopped the light hitting Dariusz Sek (27-4-3, 9 KOs) in the 7th round in a scheduled 10 round fight. Sek, 31, had recently been beaten by Viktor Polyakov by an eight round split decision last year.

Yarde went after Sek in the 7th, nailing him with shots along the ropes. Yarde unloading on Sek until the referee Steve Gray stepped in and stopped the fight. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:17 of round 7.

This fight was like a lot of the ones Yarde, 26, has had since he turned pro in 2015. Yarde has fought his entire career against light hitting opposition. He’s been offered title shots against IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Sergey Kovalev, but opted not to fight either of them. It’s unclear what the end game is for Yarde. Is he waiting for Beterbiev and Kovalev to get old enough for him to beat them or is the idea to try and gain a huge following by beating weak opposition so that he can get a bigger payday when he does finally fight for a world title. Sek had the power of a welterweight. He had nothing on his shots, which enabled Yarde to land at will against him. I wouldn’t give Yarde much of a chance against the top light heavyweights Kovalev, Beterbiev, Adonis Stevenson, Dmitry Bivol or Badou Jack. At this point, I think even Sullivan Barrera would be too much for Yarde to deal with. The thing is, Yarde is going to need to be able to beat the likes of Barrera to be taken seriously in the division. Yarde has proven time and time again that he can beat journeymen fighters, but his management has seemed reluctant to put him in real test. But what happens when Yarde faces someone who can punch? I want to see it.

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