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Murray comfortably sees off the French champion
3:25pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Boxing
MARTIN Murray made his long awaited return to the ring on Saturday night, overcoming French middleweight champion Karim Achour on points in their ten round contest at the Manchester Velodrome.
Both men evenly matched up in the weight department, both tipping the scales at 11st 6lbs but referee Steve Gray judged they were different in class as he awarded the fight in favour of Murray with a score of 98-93.
The Frenchman gave Murray, in his first outing since his drawn WBA Super world middleweight title fight with Felix Sturm six months ago, a stern examination and frustrated him throughout.
Anchour, who has never been stopped in a record of 17-3-2, started off encouragingly enough and had Murray on the back-foot in the early rounds.
That said, the Fingerpost fighter showed superb defence as well as good combination punches to deal with Achour’s pressure.
Murray began to step up a gear, accurately landing left and right jabs which had the travelling ‘Barmy Army’ in full voice.
As it progressed Murray began to look every ounce the world title contender that he is, justifying his right to be ranked in the top five in the world by the WBA, WBC and WBO respectively.
In the end, it was a fairly comfortable victory for the 29-year-old really without him performing to his full potential.
It could have been a different story altogether for Murray, who, if granted a visa would have challenged Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. instead for the WBC middleweight title at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, rather than feature in a non title fight in rainy Manchester.
However, based on recent form and performances, it will not be long until world title shots start appearing on the radar again for unbeaten Murray, now 24-0-1.