Rios overwhelms a game Murray, John holds on until 11th round

4 Dec

Alan Dawson – London

John Murray‘s American dream was spoiled by a savage Brandon Rios on Saturday, December 3 inside the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Englishman did well to survive until the 11th round, where he was never dropped but was prevented from further participation when referee Earl Brown stopped the Mancunian on his feet. Rios’ most effective shot was the uppercut; one that Murray failed to deal with the majority of the time.

Direct link to article.

Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 10 10 9 9 10 10 10 9 10
9 10 9 10 10 9 8 9 10 9 8

Official verdict: 11th round technical knockout.

There’s a saying in England that if two sluggers with a bloodlust meet in the ring, then the fight could be fought in the space of a phone box as neither man wants to take even a half-step backwards.

British lightweight John Murray even mentioned this with regard to his contest with Brandon Rios during fight week and when the ring bell signaled time to box, both fighters were fighting on each others toes. From early on, Rios paid a lot of attention to Murray’s body, while John enjoyed keeping his dukes head high, stepping inside and sending short-range punches to the head and body.

In the second round Rios and Murray were evenly-matched in terms of punch output, aggressiveness and the battle for the centre of the ring. In the visiting fighter’s most recent tear-up – a domestic showdown with fellow Englishman Kevin Mitchell – Murray lost a technical knockout in a classic domestic encounter.

Personal problems prevented Mitchell from taking on Rios and so Murray was granted the shot, however, he split and then returned to trainer Joe Gallagher, with Murray mentioning that movement and defence would be key factors in his fight with Rios. At the third round, neither of these qualities were on show from him as he was basically fighting in a typical Murray fashion – a stubborn refusal to do anything other than slug.

Murray gained an edge in the fourth, landing more and looking more effective with his ability to pick his shots. Rios had expelled so much energy in the first three rounds and, combined with his struggle to make weight, near starvation and intentional dehydration in order to shave pounds, then there could be question marks over his ability to endure a distance fight. What has always gone against Murray, though, is that he marks up quite easily, particularly around the eyes – something that had become apparent after nine minutes with the Oxnard brawler.

The Briton’s accuracy with power punches continued into the fifth round yet Rios had the punch of the round with a forceful hook shot in the dying seconds. In the sixth, Rios began grinning like a sadistic assassin as he forced blood to pour out of Murray’s mouth. The Mexican-American had a second wave of power and aggression and began working Murray’s mouth and nose over with right uppercuts and straight shots. Between rounds, Gallagher attempted to diminish the angry bleeding with a white towel, but when he was done, the cotton was red.

Murray was deducted a point for intentional lowblowing in the seventh round which, in cases such as these, can be an indication that a boxer has become desperate. In the eighth and ninth rounds, the markings around Murray’s eyes had worsened considerably and there was a growing reddening on his left cheek. He was also fighting more tentatively than he did in the first round. That is not to say he was put off from throwing shots, he never required a second invitation to do that, but he was perhaps conscious of the ghastly state of his own face.

The punishment Murray was taking by being able to survive up to the 11th round was getting to the point where it was unnecessary. He was on his feet but not punching back… with blue swellings under both eyes, a refusal to count himself out, Murray suffered a late technical knockout when the referee stepped in to wave the bout off after a series of chin-bound uppercuts went unanswered. Much is made of Rios’ power, he has stopped the vast majority of his opponents, yet he was unable to put John Murray on the deck when he had been knocked down by Mitchell in the summer. Murray was game, came to fight, but had his soul taken by Rios.

For Rios, though, he needs to actually take on better fighters. Murray is the third best lightweight in Britain, behind Ricky Burns and Mitchell. And, even though he provided greater competition than Urbano Antillon, Murray – like Antillon – is not a top ten ranked guy.

With the victory, Rios’ record moved to 29-0-1, 22ko while Murray moved to 31-2-0, 18ko.

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2 Responses to “Rios overwhelms a game Murray, John holds on until 11th round”


  1. Rios overwhelms a game Murray, John holds on until 11th round « On The Beak - December 4, 2011

    […] Rios overwhelms a game Murray, John holds on until 11th round […]

  2. On The Beak boxing news: 2011 « On The Beak - January 10, 2012

    […] Rios overwhelms a game Murray, John holds on until 11th round […]

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