Martin Murray secured another title shot by scoring a seventh round technical decision win over Italy’s Domenico Spada during their WBC Silver middleweight championship at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlos, Monaco.

Accidental Head Butt

Acting on the advice of the ringside physician, referee Daniel de Wiele stopped the bout at 1:19 of the seventh round due to a nasty cut on the corner of Spada’s right eye. The cut was caused by an unintentional head butt in the third round which could not be contained by Spada’s corner.

Spada was upset about the stoppage, as the cut wasn’t affecting his vision. However, before the fight was stopped, the referee had let the doctor take a look at the cut and it was beginning to bleed profusely when the doctor recommended the stoppage.

Murray had a one point deduction after the incident as per the WBC rule that shaves a point off from the uncut fighter in accidental head butts. But Murray knew he was ahead in the scorecards after the fourth round as the bout was held using the open scoring system. He  said that he was surprised about the close scores in the two scorecards, despite clearly dominating the match with his superior skill and speed.

Another title shot

With the victory, Murray formalized his February 21st world title shot against WBC middleweight king Gennady Golovkin who was on hand to watch his fight against Spada. K2 managing director Tom Loeffler said after the bout that Golovkin and Murray had already come to terms with a February showdown a month ago pending their latest wins. Golovkin dispatched of Marco Antonio Rubio last week to fulfill his part of the deal.

According to Loefller, they tried to book Murray in advance after a big fight against top fighters like Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr couldn’t be made. Loeffler said that Murray is a world class fighter who has a resume of fighting big named boxers in the past.

Always the bridesmaid

Murray was a former WBA interim middleweight champion and has fought for the world title twice in the past. But he has always been the bridesmaid, drawing with Felix Sturm in 2011 and losing a close decision to Sergio Martinez in April 2013. Murray has won four fights in a row after the Martinez debacle where many thought he won after scoring a knockdown over the Argentinian boxing legend.

Golovkin though is another story for Murray. The Kazakh slugger has knocked out 28 of his 31 opponents in a destructive trail that has made him one of boxing’s biggest attractions. However, because of his 90% knockout ratio, K2 has claimed that the bigger names have been avoiding him.

Murray promoter Rodney Berman said that all of Golovkin’s opponents were afraid of Golovkin even before they fought GGG hence they fought like sitting duck. He insists that Murray will “make Golovkin work”  and that Murray will out-hustle him.

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