Murray stays on course
Middleweight gets rid of ring rust in 10-rounder
By Adam Norman - Twitter @SkySportsNorm. Last Updated: June 17, 2012 7:34pm
Martin Murray remained on course for another title shot with a points victory over French champion Karim Achour in Manchester.
The St Helens middleweight got rid of some ring rust after a six month absence from the ring following his gallant draw against WBA champion Felix Sturm in December.
Murray did not have everything his own way on the Scott Quigg-Rendall Munroe undercard, with Achour displaying ambitions of his own.
The Frenchman came forward at every available opportunity although it was Murray who landed the higher quality shots, particularly to the body.
It was important that Murray maintain his concentration with some potentially big fights around the corner, and the referee's scorecard of 98-93 was a fair reflection of his superiority.
Also on the undercard, heavyweight Richard Towers overcame the first crisis of his career to defeat Gregory Tony of France for the lightly regarded EU title.
The inexperienced Towers looked for the big right hand from the outset while Tony, who did not look well conditioned, was of a similar mindset.
The pair slugged it out with Towers on top until Tony caught him on the ropes with some heavy blows in the fifth, which continued to flow with the Sheffield man struggling to remain on his feet.
The referee gave him every chance to fight back but Towers was on very wobbly legs at the bell, which came at just the right time.
The sixth was better for Towers, and Tony appeared to have punched himself out. Possibly looking for a way out, the Frenchman gesticulated at his right arm on several occasions and midway through the ninth decided he was unable to continue.
Towers moves to 14-0 but is on a steep learning curve and will need to brush up his defence if he is to make his mark at a higher level.