• Boxing

Murray claims British title with impressive win

ESPN staff
June 18, 2011
Martin Murray showed his class to take the vacant British middleweight title © Getty Images

Martin Murray added the British middleweight title to his Commonwealth and WBA intercontinental straps with an impressive five-round victory over the previously undefeated Nick Blackwell.

The 28-year-old came into the fight as the heavier and more experienced man, and backed up his pre-bout billing with a masterful display that forced Blackwell's corner to call off the fight after the fifth round.

"I always felt in control," Murray said afterwards. "No disrespect to him, but I thought we would finish it sooner.

"I've got three belts now and hopefully we can move on to bigger and better things."

Twenty-year-old Blackwell, undefeated in his previous eight fights as a professional, initially started the brighter - darting around the ring and unloading a number of combinations on Murray, who seemed to be pacing himself.

That tactic looked to have paid off inside two rounds, however, as Blackwell quickly found himself bloodied by the sheer pace and power of his opponent's timely attacks.

By the fourth round Blackwell's brave retaliatory flurries were becoming fewer and farther between, with his corner taking their time to discuss whether or not their man should continue at the conclusion of the stanza.

To his credit he continued, and even tried to take the contest back to the unfazed Murray, but he ran out of gas as the round came to a conclusion and, while complaining of being unable to breath as he was attended to ahead of the sixth round, the decision was taken to retire him from the contest.

Murray's promoter, Ricky Hatton, was pleased with his charge's display.

"What a mature performance," he said. "I didn't think he even got out of first gear."

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