ST HELENS fighter Martin Murray saw off the threat of the previously unbeaten Venezuelan Jorge Navarro in Manchester tonight.

The 30-year-old from Fingerpost produced a clinical display to take the Interim WBA Middleweight belt and keep his World challenge hopes alive.

Murray's defence soaked up the early threat posed by the big-hitting South American and then he took control, dropping Navarro to the canvas with a right.

Although Navarro picked himself up and had a crack back, Murray was always in charge.

Another Murray right-hander sent Navarro sprawling on to the canvas again in the sixth, but this time there was to be no escape.

Murray threw plenty at his now struggling opponent, prompting Navarro's corner to throw in the towel.

This clinical victory, on a big bill of boxing in Manchester, keeps Murray's hopes of heading down to Buenos Aires to tackle WBC champ Sergio Martinez in April 27.