Saturday 16 December 2017

Boxing: Murray falls short in bid for European belt

Cavan lightweight Andy Murray lost his tilt for the vacant European title, suffering his first defeat in 25 fights as a professional as he went down to Wales' Gavin Rees in Cardiff on Saturday night.

Rees, a former world champion, dominated the first six rounds, but struggled in the latter frames when Murray dispensed with his one-shot tactics and began to throw combinations.

However, the former Irish elite champion couldn't claw back the points deficit and a rattled-looking Rees survived the late onslaught to claim a unanimous points win (115-112, 115-112, 116-112).

If Murray had won on Saturday he would have matched the great John Caldwell's record of 25 victories on the trot, the longest unbeaten run by an Irish pro fighter.

Belfast bantamweight Caldwell, who claimed bronze for Ireland at the 1956 Olympics, hammered out 25 successive victories between 1958 and 1961.

Meanwhile, Carl Frampton retained his Celtic super-bantamweight title by beating Robbie Turley in a cracking contest. Frampton, who fights out of Barry McGuigan's stable, earned a unanimous decision to stretch his unbeaten run to 10.

Pro debutant Eamon O'Kane, who claimed gold for Northern Ireland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and bronze for Ireland at the 2008 European Championships, stopped Lithuanian Dmitrijus Kalinovski in the first round.

Irish Independent

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