Cool Murray in mint form

21 November 2010 – Steve Wellings

Andy Murray is fast closing in on a crack at European king John Murray and the Cavan stylist improved to 23-0 with a 10-round points verdict over Brazil’s Claudinei Lacerda in Brian Peters’ 50th boxing promotion.

Claudinei had contested all of his previous 14 fights on home soil and the Brazilian had no doubt taken this assignment with the intention of pushing his career onwards. A win over unbeaten starlet Murray would certainly achieve that. The 30-year-old dangerman came in with the nickname ‘Volcano’ and nine out of his 13 wins had arrived via knockout – we awaited an explosion.

Two years younger, 28-year-old Murray had to keep his wits about him as Lacerda came out unleashing some serious leather. So much so that Murray suffered a flash knockdown in the opener after a sneaky right hand landed over his low left. Lacerda’s attacks were wild but effective, pushing in and landing his shots but taking some quality counters from Murray.

Andy was starting to box his way into the bout by the mid-stages and enjoyed fifth-round success, giving Cladinei plenty to think about with his snappy jabs reigning in and keeping the South American at bay. Lacerda was tiring by the seventh, no doubt from the exertions and copious amount of missed punches in the early sessions.

Both men had their moments as the fight drew to a close but it was Murray who landed the better blows, seeing out a tricky encounter with some well timed shots slotted through the visitor’s guard. Emile Tiedt scored it in favour of Murray at 98-92.

After the decision Lacerda handed his WBO Latino belt over to Murray, who was pleased with his performance.

On paper it’s my best win,’ he said. I was more off balance with the knockdown but he built a good record over in Brazil and punched well. I used my height and boxing skills to keep him off.

Defence was important, I had to roll my head and block the punches. I showed a good chin, answered the questions and showed that I can go into the trenches and fight on, even after a bad start. The crowd helped me through the fight.

It was a brilliant match, well done to the matchmaker, added co-trainer Brian McKeown. The exposure across Ireland is great for Andy and he’s developing into a nice well-rounded professional.

Featherweight hope Patrick Hyland kept his European title aspirations on course with an eight-round win over Italian-based Albanian Suat Laze. Hyland was originally slated to face Roman veteran Massimo Morra but when Morra broke his hand in sparring Patrick found Laze in the opposite corner. Two of the three defeats on Laze’s record came early on in his career, when the 30-year-old was still learning his trade, and he enjoyed a 15-fight unbeaten stretch before narrowly dropping his last fight on points for the EBU-EE title in on away territory Ukraine.

Patrick was looking to restore family pride after younger brother Paul lost his big title chance to Willie Casey in Limerick recently. The 27-year-old enjoyed height and reach advantages over his squat opponent and used them effectively from the off, spearing the jab out and following up with a swift right hand. Enthusiastic Laze turned southpaw to try and offset the rhythm of Hyland but found himself getting picked off time and again as he leapt in with wide hooks.

Suat became increasingly frustrated at spending his evening at range on the end of Hyland’s jab. He threw caution to the wind in the sixth round and started jumping in hope of landing the right hook. ‘Pajo’ rode out his hefty assaults and boxed his way home to a 78-73 total on referee Paul McCullagh’s scorecard.

I wanted to show the public that I’m not just a come forward fighter, I had to adapt to him because he was a switch hitter, stated Patrick post-fight.

He was dangerous for a small guy and patience is the game. If I rushed in then I could have blown up but I was glad at the performance. Another fight and I’m ready for the European title.

Martin Rogan had his second comeback bout and followed up a one-round demolition of Yavor Marinchev with a win over Werner Kreiskott. The chunky German was more solid than expected and stood up to Rogan’s heavy punches, firing back enough defiance to keep the bout competitive. This was a perfect fight for Martin, a handy workout with an opponent who wasn’t ready to fall as handily as Rogie’s previous foe in Limerick. Rogan’s bodywork was impressive and he was beginning to take the wind out of Kreiskott’s sails with some well placed rib ticklers.

Belfast veteran Ciaran Healy is the new Irish light-heavyweight champion after some cracking shots removed John Waldron from his senses in the fifth-round.

Supposed non-puncher Paul Truscott found his heavy hands, disposing of Yordan Vasilev in the third round. The former Commonwealth featherweight holder will now be looking to force his way back into title contention and is slated to meet Leeds’ Carl Johanneson in a British super-featherweight title eliminator in the new year.

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