Martin Murray (left) put in a lionhearted display in a hostile Buenos Aires atmosphere but, despite knocking Sergio Martinez down in the eighth, couldn't do enough to win the fight. It was always going to be a tough ask for the St. Helens fighter to sway the judging panel so far away from home, but he magnanimously followed the fight by admitting that he hadn't won the fight.
There was a contentious moment in the tenth round when the rarely used video replay was called into play. Murray's staunchest fans will believe he scored a second and potentially result-changing knockdown, but the video evidence later showed the home fighter had slipped on rain that had made its way on to the canvas.
For Martinez, it was a glorious first fight in Argentina in over 10 years. He received a true hero's welcome from the 45,000 fans in a packed out Club Velez Sarsfield Stadium in the country's capital city as he took the unanimous decision. And although "Maravilla" Martinez was knocked down for a third fight in a row and at times seemed more interested in showboating than winning the fight, the 38-year-old did just about enough to swing it on all three cards. All three scorecards read 115-112 as Murray was on the end of his first career defeat.
The 50,000-capacity Estadio Jose Amalfitani, home of Buenos Aires football club Velez Sarsfield, will play host to this blockbuster WBC World title fight. Britain's Martin Murray will be heading into the eye of the storm as he travels 7,000 miles from his St. Helens home, where he'll be greeted by a truly hostile atmosphere.
The 50 - 2 - 2 Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez is nothing short of a national hero in Argentina. Rated by most sources as the World's fourth best pound-for-pound fighter, the southpaw is known for his eye-catching style and low hands, inviting opponents on where he can then counter attack.
A charismatic and stylish fighter, the 37-year-old has faced
some of the middleweight division's very best in a career spanning
almost 16 years.
He first lost in 2000 against an up and coming Antonio Margarito, while his second reversal came in a 2009 non-title fight against American Paul Williams; a loss he swiftly avenged with a KO in a rematch 11 months later.
The challenge awaiting the undefeated Martin Murray cannot be understated, and this is without question the biggest fight of the 30-year-old's career.
In his last outing, the Merseysider hammered Jorge Navarro into sixth-round submission to win the Interim WBA World title. Despite that highly impressive showing, the former British, Intercontinental and Commonwealth belt-holder has never won outside the UK, drawing his one fight abroad; a challenge for the full WBA Super World title against Felix Sturm on his home patch. Many observers felt that Murray had done enough to win the bout, and that he had been on the receiving end of a hometown decision in Germany.
28 April 2013, 01:15:00
Cardiff's Gary Buckland faces one of the most daunting challenges of his career as he takes on the 46 - 5 - 3 Argentine David "El Vasco" Saucedo. Buckland, 26, cut his weight back down to super-featherweight last November where he dispatched challenger Stephen Foster, who retired in the eighth.
Now Buckland has lined up a mammoth task: fighting in the cauldron that will be the Velez Sarsfeld football stadium, Buenos Aires, against local favourite David Saucedo.