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Crolla proud of dream world title but Murray hurt by more misery

| 23.11.2015

Lee Gormley | November 23, 2015

Crolla triumphs, Murray and Cotto fall short

  • Anthony Crolla stops Darleys Perez to lift WBA lightweight title
  • Martin Murray loses split decision to Arthur Abraham in Germany
  • Canelo Alvarez outpoints Miguel Cotto in Mexico-Puerto Rico clash

The weekend brought with it plenty of memorable moments in the ring, as Manchester’s Anthony Crolla incredibly sealed a fairytale ending to his turbulent 12 months with a world title victory in front of home fans.

Manchester Arena Boxing

Elsewhere, St Helen’s fighter Martin Murray agonisingly missed out on a world crown again, losing a split decision to reigning super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham at a hostile German venue, while Canelo Alvarez overcame Miguel Cotto.

Crolla claims world title in Manchester

The success story of a thrilling boxing weekend came from Crolla’s amazing feat on home soil, stopping Colombian Darleys Perez in the fifth round of their anticipated rematch to clinch the WBA lightweight strap.

Crolla had been left badly hurt only a year ago, after confronting intruders at a neighbour’s home, but the courageous ‘Million dollar’ fighter delivered a devastating left-handed body shot to his South American foe to secure a fairytale ending.

“I’ve realised the dream. The difference between how I feel now and last Christmas is a million miles apart,” stated the Joe Gallagher-trained 29-year-old.

Manchester Arena Boxing

“Then I was sat on the couch with my leg in plaster. I was skin and bones because I lost so much weight through medication.

“It was up in the air whether I’d be able to fight again. This Christmas I’ll have the belt under the tree with a lot to look forward to next year.”

Courageous comeback

The new lightweight world champion was struck with a concrete slab after bravely confronting two men, and was lucky to overcome such damaging injuries, making his incredible title triumph all the more extraordinary.

“I made a promise in the hospital bed that I’d come back stronger,” he added.

Manchester Arena Boxing

“I came so close to losing it all I wanted to make sure of every chance. I was given a second chance. I didn’t want to waste that. In the rematch I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.”

Crolla viciously sent Perez crashing to the canvas in the fifth round with an emphatic body shot, with the Colombian immediately signalling he was unable to recover, and the new champion could next fight at Old Trafford to defend his belt in 2016.

Murray suffers more misery

Elsewhere, it wasn’t the ending that Merseysider Murray had hoped for on German soil, with the relentless challenger suffering a fourth world title bout defeat to holder Abraham, after the judges scored a split decision in the champion’s favour.

Having previously gone 11 rounds with Gennady Golovkin among his other three losses in title bouts, Murray was on the wrong end of judges scores, reading 115-112, 112-115 and 116-111, seeing him unfortunately come away from the bout in Hanover empty-handed.

“Obviously I’m gutted,” admitted Murray, who is now at a crossroads in his career.

Germany Boxing Abraham Murray

“I really thought it was my night and when the final bell went – even though we were in Germany – I still thought I had it. I still thought I had done enough. When they said it was a split decision even then I still thought I’d got it.

“I know I’m too good to retire but the way I am feeling now, what can I do? It was my fifth shot. I just can’t keep doing this. I just can’t keep doing it to my family.”

Decisions are notoriously hard to secure on the road in Germany, and promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he has already offered a big purse to Abraham for a rematch in England, but such a bout seems unlikely, with Murray left to mull over his fighting future.

Canelo outpoints Cotto in Vegas

In the mammoth middleweight contest in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico’s Cotto was outpointed by Mexico’s Canelo during an intriguing encounter, with the latter lifting the WBC middleweight title and potentially setting up a showdown with ‘GGG’ next year.

Cotto Canelo Boxing

Cotto boxed brilliantly during the early stages, keeping Canelo’s evidently more powerful punches at bay, but the Mexican grew into proceedings later on and the judges were eventually more impressed with his solid, well-timed connections.

All three judges, maybe contentiously, agreed that Canelo had comfortably won, awarding him between nine and 11 of the 12 rounds, despite Cotto’s swift start, giving the Mexican a unanimous decision victory.

Golovkin contest looming

Immediately after the bout had been wrapped-up, talk swiftly turned to a potential meeting for Canelo against the unbeaten WBA, IBF and interim WBC champion Golovkin, but the Mexican outlined his own demands.

“We knew going into this fight that it would be a difficult journey, but I feel that I was the faster and stronger fighter tonight,” stated Canelo.

Cotto Alvarez Boxing

“I have respect for Golovkin, but if we do fight, it’s going to be at my weight class. I’m the champion, I don’t have to do what he wants.”

This year’s action isn’t over yet, with Tyson Fury 6/1 with Coral to back-up his recent talk by stopping heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday night in Germany, while James DeGale is 1/6 to defend his super-middleweight title against Lucian Bute.


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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.