By Terence Dooley

Martin Murray has vowed to bounce back from Saturday night's stoppage loss to Gennady Golovkin in Monaco and has pledged to pick up a world title down the line.  Murray, now 29-2-1 (12), was stopped in the eleventh round by the middleweight champion, his first stoppage defeat.

Despite this setback, the St.Helens-based boxer believes he is the second best 160lber in the world and will prove this by picking up a version of the world crown.  It was the 32-year-old's third title tilt, he drew with Felix Sturm and dropped a narrow points decision to Sergio Martinez in his previous two attempts.

“I'm gutted but there's not much more than I could have done,” said Murray when speaking to the Manchester Evening News about the defeat.  “I gave it my all and gave myself every possible opportunity and that's the best I could do.  I took myself away from my family to train in South Africa for the fight but he was too strong and too tough.  It's the first time I feel I've been properly beat and the first time I've been stopped in my career.  I thought I was OK when I was stopped but I've been told I was all over the place.”

He added: “He's a great champion and it was an honour and a pleasure sharing the ring with him.  I still want to be world champion and I believe I'm the second best middleweight in the world behind Golovkin.  I need a big fight to get up for as I've suffered when I've gone straight back down into a meaningless bout.  I was really motivated for the Golovkin fight and I want to thank my fans and my team for their support over the past few months.”

Golovkin was taken beyond round eight for the first time in his career despite twice flooring the challenger in round four.  Murray managed to stay in the fight to extend the 32-year-old rising star yet was denied the chance to hear the final bell.  Golovkin moves to 32-0 (29); Murray was seen as his stiffest challenge to date and the Kazakhstan-based champion now has a host of options either at middle or 168lbs, but enticing opponents into the ring may prove to be his toughest test to date.

Billy Graham, Ricky Hatton’s former challenger, has enthused about Golovkin during recent years; he was impressed by the weekend’s display.  “Golovkin has got everything,” he said.  “Sonny Liston is one of my all-time favourite fighters. Liston intimidated opponents before the first bell and Golovkin is doing the same thing.  Golovkin’s one of the best fighters I’ve watched—I don’t just marvel at Golovkin’s ability, I watch him and think: ‘How would I beat this guy?’  I’ve yet to come up with an answer.”

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