By Edward Chaykovsky
At York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, EBU lightweight campion John Murray (31-0, 18KOs) struggled early, but managed to pull himself together in the second half to win a twelve round decision over Karim El Quazghari (11-2-2, 4KOs). The scores were 116-110, 117-111 and 115-112.
They were mixing it up in the first round.Quazghari wanted to earn Murray's respect early. The fight was much harder than previously expected. Murray seemed to be rusty but he was doing good work to the body. Murray's punches weren't as strong as usual. Something was missing. In the eight, Murray began to really start up his engine by punishing the challenger. After that round, the challenger was very tired and was barely having any steam on his punches. Murray was really trying to end the fight with a knockout in the twelfth round but the challenger stayed on his feet. Murray lost a point in the final round for hitting Quazghari to the back of the head.
Middleweight propect Billy Joe Saunders (8-0, 5 KOs) stopped Turgay Uzun (35-16-2, 22 KOs) in the second round. The 2008 Olympic boxer makes his 2011 debut. Promoter Frank Warren plans to keep him very active. Saunders wants to have at least three or more fights this year.