Ross Murray’s face revealed absolute joy and relief as he was crowned WBC international silver champion in Glasgow. Joy as his hard work was rewarded with victory, a famous shiny green belt and world ranking. And relief as, in many ways, the event was life-or-death. Defeat against John Chuwa would likely have pushed the 37 year old Glaswegian towards retirement. Thankfully, Murray demonstrated his class to comfortably outpoint Chuwa in front of fans at the Crowne Plaza.
Comfort may not be the word that Murray would use to describe some of the early rounds. Chuwa charged forward, his long leavers swung regularly as his aggression was matched with high output. Accuracy was sacrificed for pressure, and Chuwa landed some strong single shots in amongst his attacks in the early stages. An accidental head clash, almost inevitable with Chuwa’s awkward style, drew blood from Murray in the second, adding further pressure.
But it didn’t take long for Murray to work out his opponent. As Chuwa drove forward, discharging shots at volume, Murray perfectly timed check left hooks and pivoted out of danger. Strong jabs to the body, right hands and calculated pressure saw Murray pull well ahead by the mid rounds. Chuwa was starting to feel the pace, highlighted as his charges forward were now reduced to wild bursts. Some penetrated Murray’s guard, but the majority were skilfully blocked and met with cleaner returns. Chuwa lost his mouth-guard five times; a mischief that was punished by the referee with two point deductions, further widening the gap on the scorecards. On the final occasion, Murray – perhaps growing frustrated at Chuwa’s approach – blasted the mouth-guard out with a straight right hand; firing it out into the air and onto the judges’ table.
The judges did their job well – rewarding Ross Murray with a deserved unanimous victory. He will now look to test himself further after such a dominant performance. After celebrating with his partner, supporters and team, a delighted Murray told us:
“I knew he’d start fast. He was very wild and powerful. So the first three rounds I tried to just box behind the jab. And then after the fourth I felt I turned a corner. I thought as the rounds went on I got stronger, and I controlled the back half of the fight. Tough fight, it was the first time I’ve done ten rounds, but I’m delighted.”
“He had a head like a bowling-ball. In the second round he whacked the nut right in me, and I felt the blood in my eye. But Sam Mullen did a great job with the cut and it didn’t affect me after the third round.”
“I’m 37 years old now and I’ve just won a WBC belt. It’s unbelievable, you’ve got to just go and enjoy yourself. I never expected to do anything like this. I came into boxing turning pro just thinking if I won a Scottish title I’d do brilliant. And now I’m probably going to be ranked top 15 in the world. I need to say thanks to Sam Kynoch and Craig Dickson. I’m buzzing and want to go on and fight the best. I just love boxing.”
Earlier in the evening, Jay Carrigan McFarlane extended his record to 10-3-0 with a first round TKO win against Birmingham’s Shaun Duffy. McFarlane blasted Duffy to the canvas with a viscous shot within a minute. Duffy somehow managed to get back on to his feet, but the contest was sensibly called off soon after. And Glasgow’s Marc Kerr convincingly out-pointed William Warburton over four rounds. Warburton is a stalwart of the sport with over 175 fights as a journeyman. He asked some decent questions, which Kerr answered well as he prepares for bigger fights later in the year.