A DEUTSCH COIN FLIP – Miguel Cotto – Canelo Alvarez isn’t the only excellent event unfolding in the middleweight range tonight. Arthur Abraham’s pick ‘em tilt against Martin Murray doesn’t have that Vegas glitz, but their battle in a relatively subdued Hannover, Germany could produce just as dramatic boxing results.
When a high-profile,“friendly” football/soccer match in Hannover between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled at the last minute due to terrorist concerns earlier this week, it raised the location’s stakes.
Should Abraham win this intriguing WBO title defense against well-seasoned Murray, he’s looking at what could be his biggest fights yet, including a nice retirement payday against Bernard Hopkins, who has expressed an interest.
If Gennady Golovkin is as awesome as many observers seem to think, Murray has a very decent chance to finally win a recognizable title. From the respectably violent ringside vibe in Monaco last February, Murray did not seem out of his league for much of the match against GGG.
That said, the punch I saw Abraham splatter Robert Stieglitz with in July looked harder than anything Golovkin landed against Murray.
If overall consistency is the key then Murray is probably the favorite, but trainer Ulli Wegner has managed to draw regular improvements from the somewhat mechanical Abraham and if that trend continues, Abraham might look more formidable than ever, which would mean big trouble for Murray.
The intangible is how Murray performs at 168 after championship losses for middleweight belts. That’s a deceiving clue because he began his career at super-middleweight and has fought at light-heavy. Murray might actually be much stronger tonight than he was in those previous contests.
This is, indeed, a worthy title fight. When Andre Ward announced he was moving up to light heavyweight it created a situation where the Abraham – Murray victor has a legitimate claim to divisional honors. With today’s catch-weight hypotheticals, there’s no guarantee how Cotto and Canelo might fare against Abraham and Murray in a round-robin rumble.
Odds to win : -110 Murray (win 1.00 per 1.10 bet)
Odds to win : +110 Abraham (win 1.10 per 1.00 bet)
Either fighter to score knockdown : 8 – 1 against (win 8 per 1 bet)
Both fighters to score knockdown : 25 – 1 against
Draw : 3 – 1 (fair chance of early accidental cut)
DQ : 50 – 1 ( both men true sportsman/pros)
Relatively small group of British visitors to make more noise than much larger German crowd : quite likely mate
Relatively small group of British visitors to drink as much beer as much larger German crowd : quite possibly mate
Brits to handle their beer as well as Germans : quite impossible mate
This shapes up like one of those fights where the outcome is clear by the second round.
If Murray stays on his toes during those six minutes, moving in and out with combinations while Abraham follows him around the ring, I’d look for the visitor to score a late round TKO.
If Abraham has landed even just a couple looping thuds as he forces, not follows, Murray backward the local favorite will likely wear his challenger down for a two-point victory. If King Arthur somehow scores a bigger win against Murray than Golovkin did, the spoils of Monte Carlo loom large.
In prestige and global time zones, Abraham-Murray is definitely a warm-up act to Canelo – Cotto. That doesn’t mean the euro-boys can’t steal the show on another great boxing weekend.