John Murray Stops Jon Thaxton In 4th-Round - Regains British Lightweight Title

boxingby James Slater - Tonight, on the outskirts of Manchester, 24-year-old local man John Murray stopped former British and European 135-pound champion Jon Thaxton of Norwich at 2-minutes and 30-seconds of the 4th-round. Fighting for the vacant British lightweight title (belt stripped from Murray for failure to make weight in fight with Scott Lawton back in the summer) the two men knew how much was on the line.

Murray boxed a perfect fight and a big right hand from him prompted referee Howard Foster to dive in and rescue Thaxton as he attempted to cover up along the ropes. Some people questioned the stoppage, and it did seem as though "Jono" knew where he was and what he was doing, and he initially disputed the ref's decision. The right hand wobbled the 35-year-old, sure, but should he have been stopped? Certainly, Thaxton's trainer, Dominic Ingle, didn't think so - saying that what the ref did was no way to stop a British title fight..

The arguments aside, Murray will go on to even bigger things now, and he improves to 28-0(16). Thaxton, who may well decide to announce his retirement after a fine seventeen year pro career, is now 34-11(19).

Coming out quite fast, southpaw Thaxton used plenty of movement, and he also threw a lot of jabs. Murray had a nice, tight guard and he boxed conservatively. As it turned out, the opening session was the only three minutes Thaxton won.

Wobbled by a right hand-left hook combo to the head in the 2nd, Thaxton fired back and some exciting trading took place. Murray really was being patient though, refusing to get overexcited and careless. The action was good, and Thaxton was letting both hands go as best he could. Clearly this was Murray's round.

Thaxton was boxing well again at the start of the 3rd, but he was soon caught by another right to the head. Looking a very dangerous weapon, Murray's right hand upstairs was giving the veteran who has been a pro since 1992 severe problems. Another round for the younger man.

Thaxton tried switching stance again briefly in the 4th, while Murray stalked his man, again with his hands held high. Then, suddenly, a big right hand tagged Thaxton and his legs became unsteady. Covering up and on the defensive along the ropes, Thaxton was then rescued by Foster. Initially it looked a premature call, and after the fight both Dominic and the even more experienced Brendan Ingle complained quite bitterly. Indeed, it's hard not to feel some sympathy for Thaxton, who has now lost his last three outings.

Should he decide to call it a day, Thaxton can hold his head up high, safe in the knowledge that he gave his all throughout his entire career. As for Murray, the sky truly is the limit.

Article posted on 04.10.2009

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