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Billy Joe Saunders: Sergio Martinez Will Stop Murray!

 If St Helen's middleweight Martin Murray manages to wrench the WBC title from Argentine master Sergio Martinez in Buenos Aires this Saturday, it would be an upset to rival, perhaps surpass, John H Stracey stopping Jose Napoles in Mexico City or Lloyd Honeyghan storming over Don Curry.Could one of the great moments in British ring history be about to unfold?

Be sure to watch all the action unfold, including British super-feather king Gary Buckland against David Saucedo, live and exclusive on BoxNation, the Channel of the Champions, from 2am Sunday morning, on Sky Ch.437/Virgin Ch.546.

To assess Murray's chance of slaying Goliath, boxing writer Glynn Evans nailed down reigning British and Commonwealth 160lb king Billy Joe Saunders and here is his expert analysis.

"I'm sure Martin will be getting well paid and big credit to him for taking his chance, particularly over there in Argentina where it's sure to be hostile.  But you've got to say it's a hard task.

It'll be near impossible for him to get a decision over there. Apparently Sergio was voted Argentinean Sports Personality of the Year ahead of Lionel Messi so he's clearly a huge star over there. For Murray to win, he'll need to do so by knockout and that's not happened since Antonio Margarito 'done' Sergio 13 years ago!

I've studied Martinez quite a bit over the years because, like me, he's a southpaw. Recently, I saw his fights against Darren Barker, (Matt) Macklin and Julio Cesar Chavez Junior and I really like studying him. All I can say is that, by the time I get up there (to world level), he'll hopefully be finished and gone!

He's your ultimate fighter, one of the very best pound-for-pound. He's got speed, accuracy, skills, power plus a fantastic boxing brain. He's also very elusive.

On the downside, sometimes Martinez comes in with his hands very low which gives the opponent encouragement. To date, Martinez has had the confidence to get away with it but he's 38 now and you'd think his reflexes are going to 'go' soon. That said, you look at Bernard Hopkins and he's still doing the business at 48!

Martinez needs to be mindful not to overlook Murray, though. Martinez certainly looked vulnerable in the twelfth round against Chavez Junior in his last fight. He really got opened up and could've been stopped if the fight had longer to go so he's not unbeatable. That said, Martin Murray is no Chavez Junior. He doesn't have the same tools and Martinez is sure to be really up for it, fighting before his home fans for the first time in 11 years.

As Murray's a domestic middleweight rival, obviously I've followed his career closely. He always comes to the ring fit, dedicated and fully focussed, I'll give him that. He's also a good boxer. I really hope he can find a way to win partly because he's an Englishman, and I always love to see our boys do well, but also because it'd be better for me down the line. I'll be ready for world level within the next 12 months myself and I'm sure it'd be easier to make a world title challenge against him than some foreign guy.

But for me, Murray makes some basic mistakes at British level. I don't want to reveal too much because it's quite possible that we'll end up fighting each other in the future but he's wide open to certain things and doesn't hit anywhere near as hard as he thinks he does. He's definitely not a kayo puncher.

Martinez isn't just world level, he's elite level. He's beaten fighters like Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik and Chavez. He's gonna hit Martin far, far harder than he's ever been hit before. He's also a southpaw and I don't believe Murray has faced one yet. Us southpaws are a different breed!

I think rounds one to four, Martinez will be looking to box around Murray then, mid rounds he'll stand his ground, attempt to break Martin down and push for the stoppage.

Martin is sure to have trained the best he's ever trained but he definitely can't outbox Martinez and I seriously doubt that he can out fight or out muscle him. He'll just have to hope that Sergio has a really bad day and he has his best day ever.

Too often, the opponents I've seen against Martinez gave him too much respect early on. To beat him, you can't give him time to think. You need to fly out and nick all the early rounds. Martinez is prone to starting slow. He likes time and space to work so Martin will need to smother him, pressure the champion with flurries then dart back out of distance. He'll need to be mindful of copping Martinez's left hand, mind. It's a very dangerous weapon.

It's difficult to make a case for Murray winning. Away from home, he can't expect to nick it. He has to make it exciting, make the judges take notice of him but obviously that involves taking risks.

I know Martin held Felix Sturm to a draw in Germany but, trust me, Sturm is no Sergio Martinez or Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. Darren Barker is a very good boxer but he couldn't keep Martinez off. I hope from the bottom of my heart that Martin can pull it off but realistically I expect Martinez to win by stoppage between rounds eight and ten. He's just too experienced and too spiteful."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ddangerous on 04-27-2013

Not a bad breakdown.

Comment by BoomBoomBuckner on 04-27-2013

I retract my statement that Saunders is a bum, he is entitled to his opinion and he hopes Martin wins, so I wish you all the best Billy in your career mate because your talented and deserve a shot at…

Comment by paulf on 04-27-2013

Damn fine and honest assessment.

Comment by Ray* on 04-27-2013

Honest opinion and assessments, something that you don't see anymore in British boxing. Another thing is BJS also said this " All I can say is that, by the time I get up there (to world level), he'll hopefully be…

Comment by BoomBoomBuckner on 04-27-2013

Shut up Saunders, your a bum, never be as popular as Martin Murray.... Keep boxing European bums ya spud...

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