WBA Super world middleweight king Gennady Golovkin, 32, proved simply too good for St Helens’ Martin Murray, who battled bravely before being stopped after 50 seconds of the 11th round at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Murray, 32, did not come merely to survive, but was often forced to clinch and hold in order to stem Glolovkin’s constant tide of punches. The fearsome Kazakh stalked Martin throughout and backed him up on the ropes, unleashing an array of dipping hooks to both head and body, as well as crunching uppercuts.

Despite being clearly outgunned, the bloodied and battered Murray courageously kept throwing leather until the end. He survived two knockdowns in the fourth round – both from vicious body shots – and also made it back to his feet in the 10th after being floored by a right to the head just before the bell.

The end finally came in the following session. With Murray once again cornered by the relentless Golovkin, the Eastern European connected with a clean right hand, forcing the referee to step in and call a halt to proceedings.

A cut Lee Haskins claimed the vacant European bantamweight title on a technical decision against Frenchman Omar Lamiri on the Golovkin-Murray undercard.


Slippery southpaw Haskins, 31, with his low guard, was his usual awkward self, relying on head movement to evade shots. He had to swallow a few punches from his 25-year-old opponent, yet controlled proceedings for the most part with his quick and accurate shots.

With the Bristolian comfortably ahead on the cards after seven complete sessions, a clash of heads in the eighth left Lee with a nasty gash on his right eyebrow. Following a doctor’s inspection, the contest was called off and went to the scorecards, where Haskins was awarded the EBU crown by tallies of 79-73 and 78-74 twice.

In the opening fight of the evening, Hughie Fury registered a clear unanimous points victory over 31-year-old Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko.

The 20-year-old cousin of Tyson Fury used his jab to good effect throughout. Displaying impressive head movement, Hughie enjoyed success with short hooks as the one-paced Rudenko trundled into range looking to unload wild swings.

After 10 rounds of action, the young British heavyweight had his arm raised, securing the win by scores of 98-92, 98-91 and 97-92 to move to 15-0 (8).

Also on the bill, Johannesburg’s fleet-fisted WBA world strawweight ruler Hekkie Budler retained his belt after earning a unanimous 12-round verdict over Mexican challenger Jesus Silvestre.

Silvestre, 25, was aggressive and game, but his attacks were often too predictable and crude to sufficiently trouble his 26-year-old South African adversary, who displayed brilliant evasive skills, razor-sharp reflexes and accurate attacks. Scores of 117-110 and 115-112 twice in favour of Budler seemed slightly kind to Silvestre, who was deducted a point for a low blow in the second stanza.