Unbeaten John Murray Batters Brave Lee Meager To Win Vacant British Lightweight Title

12.07.08 - by James Slater: Tonight, at The Robin Park Arena, Wigan, unbeaten 23-year-old lightweight talent John Murray battered a brave but out-classed Lee Meager to defeat in five rounds to win the vacant British lightweight title. Both fighters, who hail from Manchester and are good friends out of the ring, were expected to put on a great fight.. In somewhat surprising fashion, however, Murray won in commanding style in a one-sided bout. The time of the stoppage was 2 mins and 27 seconds of round number 5, as a series of left hands to the head implored referee Howard Foster to dive in and save the 30-year-old Meager from further punishment. Murray improved to 25-0(13). Meager fell to 21-3-2(8).

In what was his best pro performance to date, Murray never put a foot wrong. His defence high and tight - which has not always been the case in the past - the 23-year-old was always in control. Murray's accuracy, too, was superb. At times he simply could not miss his opponent - either to head or body.

The action got off to a good and quick start, with both men having some success in the 1st. A good right hand to the head hurt Meager towards the end of the round, and in the 2nd Murray started to look for the finish already. The older man was under fire and Murray was all over him. There was also a brief time-out in this session, due to Meager's gum shield being sent flying.

By the 3rd, Meager was marked up badly above both eyes. Showing real courage, the older man also had an ugly swelling beneath his right eye. By the end of the round he was really looking busted up. He had taken a lot of flush punches already, particularly left hands, and it was a matter of how long he would last - barring an astonishing comeback, anyway.
Another wicked left hand to the body hurt Meager near the start of the 4th round, and Murray was showing real class with his punch-picking. He was a joy to watch in there throughout the entire fight. After yet more hurtful looking shots banged into Meager's head and body another time-out was called to replace his mouth-piece. The fight had been completely one-sided from the get-go.

It was the same story in the 5th, with Meager sucking it up but taking too many. After one more punishing salvo, during which four huge left hands cracked into Meager's head, referee Foster decided he'd seen enough and dived in to save the thoroughly beaten up fighter. There were no complaints from anyone.

With this excellent victory, Murray, who picked up a small nick under his own right eye, served notice to every other lightweight in Britain - including Amir Khan. In handling Meager, a former British champion who had never been stopped before, with such consummate ease, John Murray at last lived up to his substantial reputation as one of the best prospects out there.

Article posted on 12.07.2008

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