Middleweight Martin Murray’s charge to the world championship will continue on another Golden Gloves bill that takes place in Monaco on October 25.
The tournament will be staged at the glittering Salles des’Etoiles, which hosted the Golden Gloves Super Eight event and has also featured superstars from the world of music.
Having established himself in the principality with a dominant performance in June, Murray (28-1-1, 12 KOs) returns for his second outing there against rugged Domenico Spada (38-5, 19 KOs) of Italy, rated #8 by the WBC. It marks the first defence of Murray’s WBC Silver belt.
The tournament also includes three other championship fights.
Dual champion Hekkie Budler (26-1, 9 KOs) of South Africa, holder of the WBA and IBO strawweight titles, defends against former champion Xiong Zhao Zhong (24-5-1, 14 KOs).
American Randy Caballero (21-0, 13 KOs), the IBF #1, will venture out of California to fight IBF #3 and former world champion Stuart Hall (18-3-2, 7 KOs) of the UK for the IBF bantamweight belt. This bout will be presented in association with Dennis Hobson Promotions.
And big-hitting light-heavyweight Ryno Liebenberg (16-0, 11 KOs) of South Africa, ranked #6 by the WBC, will put both his WBC Silver belt and his unbeaten record on the line against Canada-based Colombian Eleider Alvarez (15-0, 8 KOs), who is also undefeated and rated #11. This fight will be presented in association with Groupe Yvon Michel.
Promotions company Golden Gloves believes that Murray, ranked #1 by the WBC, is no more than a fight or two away from a crack at a major title.
Efforts to entice interim WBC champion Marco Antonio Rubio and IBF champion Sam Soliman came to naught, despite outstanding purse offers.
“They won’t be able to run forever,” said Berman. “Until then, we have to keep Martin busy. He did a fine job in his last outing, outworking European hard man Max Bursak, and I expect even better against Spada, who has mixed in excellent company and has far more experience. He knows that beating Martin is a shortcut to the top.”
Budler blew the lid off the Casino de Monte-Carlo in his last outing, knocking out 60-fight veteran Pigmy Kokietgym, and will hope to do the same against Zhong, who until recently held the WBC title.
“The websites and boxing magazines that count have me as the number one in the division and that’s what matters,” said Budler. “I can’t help it if the other champions don’t want to fight me. For now, I have a job to do against Zhong. I loved fighting in Monte Carlo last time. I’ll train just as hard and expect to be rewarded on the night.”
Caballero has cut a swathe through the bantamweight division, most recently travelling to Koheo Oba’s Japanese backyard to cut him down in eight rounds in a title eliminator.
It means former champion Hall will have to be at his very best if he intends to regain honours.
“It’s a fight that would ordinarily top the bill,” said Berman. “Caballero might start favourite, but I’ve seen enough of Hall to expect that he will give Caballero a massive challenge. At 34, this could be his final big opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Liebenberg and Alvarez will bring together two contrasting styles – the fighter against the boxer. Both are unbeaten and chasing down a single goal: becoming world champion.
Alvarez has become hot property in Canada, where he is based, while Liebenberg is hot off the best victory of his career, having beaten Denis Grachev at the weekend.
Berman says that the winner will be in line for a crack against WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.
August 14, 2014