A game John Murray (33-3, 20 KO’s) gave a good account of himself tonight, but ultimately he was beaten up and taken out by the younger WBO Inter-Continental lightweight champion Anthony Crolla (28-4-1, 11 KO’s) in losing by a 10th round TKO at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, UK.
In the 10th round, Crolla connected with a peach of a left hook that connected to the back of Murray’s head, sending him down on his hands and knees. Murray, with blood oozing out of his nose and his right eye with an angry purple bruise, got back to his feet and let the referee know that he was ready to resume fighting. Crolla then pounced on Murray with a mini flurry that drove him to the ropes.
Murray moved laterally along the ropes hoping to escape, but Crolla followed after him and continued to nail him with nonstop punches. The referee then had no choice but to step in and halt the fight to keep him from getting hurt.
The seeds were there for Murray’s defeat by the 9th round, as he was worn out looking and getting nailed at will by Crolla. At one point in the round, Murray threw a wild right hand that missed badly, sending Murray up against the ropes with his back exposed. Crolla then took advantage of the situation by hitting Murray with a half dozen punches before he could collect himself.
Earlier in the fight Murray was on the attack in going after Crolla with big body shots, and pressuring him nonstop. Crolla chose to stay on the move during the early part rather than standing still against the the more powerful Murray. There was absolutely no way that Crolla could match Murray for the kind of power that he had at that point in the fight, so it was a smart move by him to stay on the move and avoid exchanging shots with him as much as possible.
When Crolla would stop, Murray would be on top of him in throwing hard flurries to the head and body. You could tell how much stronger Murray was compared to Crolla during those early rounds just by listening to the sound of Murray’s hard shots.