BOXER Martin Murray completed the transformation from amateur champion to professional titleholder when he won the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title at the Bolton Arena last Friday evening with a comprehensive points defeat of Australian Peter Mitrevski Junior.

The man from Fingerpost completed his 20th straight win since taking the pro ticket by outclassing his much more experienced rival and at the same time dispelling any doubts about his ability to last the 12-round distance.

And the win for former ABA champion Murray could hardly have been more emphatic with judge Howard John Foster scoring it 120-108, giving him all 12 rounds; while fellow arbiters, Phil Edwards and John Keane both made it 120-109, thereby adjudging the man from Down Under to have shared just a single round.

But despite the disparity of the judges’ scorecards this was no easy night for 27-year-old Murray.

He was made to work hard by the durable, if somewhat limited, Mitrevski who set his stall out from the opening round, looking to be the instigator of a clash of the heads that was to prove the first of many.

The Aussie’s spoiling tactics were obviously aimed at frustrating his more talented opponent.

But Murray - not for the first time - showed commendable patience in probing for the openings to exhibit his superior boxing skills and wider repertoire of shots.

After just three rounds it was clear to all in the packed arena -Mitrevski included – that, barring a lucky punch or some freak accident, there was no way the title belt would be winging its way to the Antipodes.

Indeed, such was Mitrevski’s growing desperation as the contest wore on that in the fourth round he even resorted to one of his national cricket team’s favourite pastimes - sledging!

However, his attempts to unsettle Murray with disparaging comments about his stamina cut little ice with our man who responded with a few choice words of his own before referee Dave Parris ordered both to can the chatter and get on with the fight.

The rest of the bout followed a similar pattern with Murray looking to land clean shots and, despite the mauling brawling style of his rival, doing enough to pile up the points.

Mitrevski did threaten briefly in rounds six and 11, and there was another potentially-damaging clash of heads in the ninth.

But for the most part it was one-way traffic, much to the delight of Murray’s very own colourful, travelling ‘barmy army’ of fans who have followed him faithfully – and vociferously – every step of the way in his so-far 100 per cent professional campaign.

The 12th and final round was, if anything, something of an anti-climax.

Mitrevski opened with a couple of little flurries but nothing that was likely to cause Murray and his supporters any real anxiety and the champion-elect saw out the round with a degree of comfort to claim what, hopefully, will be the first of many pro title triumphs.