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Page last updated at 22:15 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 23:15 UK

John Murray stops Gary Buckland to win European crown

John Murray
John Murray added the vacant European crown to his British belt

John Murray added the vacant European lightweight title to his British crown by stopping Gary Buckland in the 11th round in Widnes on Friday night.

Underdog Buckland, from Newport in south Wales, battled bravely and tried to go toe-to-toe but was outmatched.

Murray picked off the challenger, first breaking him down with body shots then teeing off with brutal efficiency.

A flurry of shots caught the bleeding and bruised Buckland late in the 11th and the referee rightly stepped in.

Murray, 25, remains unbeaten and can now keep the Lonsdale belt after three successful title fights and looks as though he could soon challenge for a world title, while 23-year-old Buckland falls to 19-2.

Buckland, a six-time Welsh amateur champion, was happy to trade blows with Murray from the start, despite the defending British champion being naturally the bigger man at the 9st 9lb limit.

Manchester's Murray went to work on the challenger's body for the best part of two rounds, before staggering Buckland with a head shot late in the second.

The Welshman got through with some useful uppercuts in the third, but the champion - briefly switching to southpaw - regained the initiative in the fourth.

The volume of blows Buckland was suffering at last started to tell in the seventh and his legs wobbled briefly after a sweet uppercut from Murray.

Despite the work of his corner, Buckland's right eye had almost closed by the eighth and his nose was badly bloodied.

Murray continued to pick his shots beautifully and it seemed that it was now only a matter of time before Buckland buckled.

It was credit to the Welshman, bidding to be Newport's first European champion since Dick Richardson in 1962, that he stayed competitive for another three rounds.

But if the spirit was unbowed the body was not and referee Marcus McDonnell had seen enough one minute and 46 seconds into the penultimate round, as Murray let rip with another hurtful combination.

see also
Murray-Buckland clash in Widnes
27 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Buckland earns Euro title chance
21 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Buckland on title trail after win
19 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Murray reclaims lightweight title
03 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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