Martin Murray seems within a tantalizingly realistic touching distance of the lofty goals many of us in the UK have precariously perched upon his tattooed shoulders. Surely he is the chosen one; it is he who can lift the belt high. It seems to be only him who now stands among the fallen. The last man to survive the once infamous British middleweight triangle that lit a steady and consistent heat to our fighting juices, causing them to bubble with anticipation.
The other members of the fading trio? Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker (Barker no longer actually fighting). Andy Lee? The smiling Irishman with a big punch is unsure what weight to campaign at right now. Curiously dropping down in weight for his last fight, and not looking too fresh down there, despite the one well timed shot that saved him from what seemed like it could have been a tremendous thumping over the course of his fight with John Jackson.
These brave men would clash; all British affairs, blood encrusted belts being handed from one warrior to the next, for one to emerge, his face a mask of claret, but the middleweight king on these shores. He who would then travel forth and slay the rest of the middleweight division. Who out of Murray, Barker and Macklin can endure so many hopes of a nation?
Well, Darren Barkers hips gave out so he’s retired. Matthew Macklin got totally folded in two by the blood thirsty GGG and after a decent win over prospect Lamar Russ, Macklin seems a little unsure of his direction for the time being, having suffered three world level losses. (again like Murray, one being a fight he arguably should have won)
So Murray is the fighter we have left. Unfortunately he hasn’t looked spectacular in his last few battles, this Max Bursak fight was intended to be the turn around break out performance after the two high level scratches on his record.
On my cards he mugged the jelly kneed Sergio Martinez in broad day light in Buenos Airs Argentina when he left deflated through the ropes; a beaten man. Albeit only by one point did I actually have him being crowned the new WBC middleweight champion, but regardless, I had Murray the victor. Unlucky.
The fight that just happened this weekend was one where Murray was required to leave little else but a clearly visible statement burned into the ring. Interestingly this is a fight where I feel he failed to really do that…again. Although I had him winning almost every round.
In the 1st Round Murray is maintaining his shape well, thus allowing himself to accurately spear off some varied straight punches, nice long evasive right leads and jabs. As early as the 2nd though, Bursak’s crude mauling aggression is off setting the early rhythm and dictation of space Murray is trying to set.
The flow of the fight is a tug of war, Murray is carving the edges off of each round with more precise punching. Good old fashioned fundamental Boxing skills. Then to counter balance this, Bursak prefers to leap forward immediately opening arms to clinch, as opposed to presenting an offensive arsenal for Murray to react from or counter easily. It makes the fight a little tough to view as a fan. The next few rounds are repeats of the previous two.
In the 4th Bursak is pinching a little bit of good favor, actually prevailing the victor after the men have debated upclose with a few personal exchanges and flurries. Murray protesting toward referee Barrovecchio attempting to prise from the refs heart a little sympathy toward a few ugly looking shots touching the back of his head. Outside of that, little else exciting is happening this round.
By the 6th a story of clear uppercuts and sharper counters, several degrees more attractive to the eye have landed beautifully upon Bursak’s face and head. Bursak’s only flashes of success coming from the roll of a dice hooks and swings he levers from within a closer distance. None of the work is particularly crisp over a consistent basis from either fighter, but Murrays punches again, leave the impression.
By the 9th the pattern hasn’t changed, theres no surprises in the script. The fight is being broken up by the referee, what feels like far too may times a round. Murray’s complaints to the referee betray his true feelings, not of rule infringement, but more of frustration that an opponent he should have been cleaning out, is still in his house. Making him look a little uncouth and rattled.
Round 12, Murray’s flurry of body shots, not all clean punches probably stole the round for him, there was nothing to report in the rounds not mentioned, merely more of the same. Murray was not hurt in the fight at all, caught with a few, but not hurt.
As i noted in my video breakdown before this fight took place, a messy UD for Murray would be the result. The respite provided by the warm up fight is a luxury Murray should seldom seek, because Murray is knocking on the doors now. He’s already been through two of them and been denied entry.
Every fight from here on in, should be that of a world class level. The type of challenge he deserves, and is unquestionably required for him, if we are asking him to fight with the appropriate balance of desire, to elevate his fighting above the modest performances we know he can surpass.
Max Bursak should have been an easy clear win, if…Martin is to cleanly claim the head of a Golovkin or even a Sam Solomon. It’s been three uninspiring shifts at the office over six or so months, and none of these three occasions have included world level fighters.
So Martin Murray scraped through an awkward looking uncomfortable fight against Bursak with a UD. We need much better performances on the world stage.
I write a little bitterly, because I want Martin Murray to do well when the time comes. Another unfortunate humbling scene of a squirming brit on the floor in the early rounds would be too much to digest, especially as Murray right now out of those mixing at world level, is our only hope.
© Wingy 2014