ST Helens middleweight Martin Murray said he was in a different class to Max Bursak and so it proved at the Monte Carlo Casino on Saturday night as he dominated Bursak to claim the WBC Silver belt.

Fighting before a vociferous crowd which included his famous “Barmy Army” from South Lancashire, Murray triumphed by scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 117-111.

Murray took a while to adapt to Bursak’s awkward style, but once he did he was virtually unstoppable as he piled on the points and swept to a compelling victory.

Both fighters were guilty of too much clinching, which detracted from the quality of the fight, but Murray’s superior speed and more accurate punching was a perfect foil to the Ukrainian’s unorthodoxy.

Murray upped his game significantly from the seventh round, his slick counter-punching able to diminish Bursak’s spoiling tactics.

Scores were announced after the fourth and eight rounds, according to WBC regulations, indicating Murray’s stranglehold on the fight. Bursak tried manfully to stem the assault, but Murray was too quick and slick as he marched towards a probable world title fight in the principality in October, as promised by promoter Rodney Berman.