Richie Woodhall, former WBC super middleweight champion, on Channel 5: "Punch-perfect from Golovkin, who found all sorts of gaps in Murray's defence. You have to give it to Murray though - 100% effort, and what a brave kid. He was hurt time and again in the fight."
- Gennady Golovkin bt Martin Murray (11th round stoppage)
- Murray was seeking victory in third career title bout
- Arthur Abraham bt Paul Smith (unanimous decision)
Righto, we're not going to hang around much longer. Great night of boxing all in all - Liverpool's Paul Smith showed tremendous courage in making it to the final bell against WBO super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in Berlin but deservedly dropped a wide unanimous decision; Martin Murray of St Helens somehow made it to the 11th round against WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, despite being dropped three times, but eventually yielded in the 11th. It might be time for Golovkin to go looking for opponents at super-middle - if anyone will fight him... Night...
What a gutsy performance that was from Martin Murray, how he made it that far I'll never know. For Golovkin, that was his 19th straight win within the distance and 29th knockout in 32 fights. For Murray, that was his first knockout defeat and he falls to 29 wins and two losses from 32 pro fights. But between Paul Smith and Martin Murray, they showed an awful lot of British bulldog on the world stage this evening.
Al Bernstein, Channel 5 summariser: "Martin Murray fought better against Gennady Golovkin than anyone else ever has. He landed a fair amount of punches and for most of the fight he was able to keep his wits about him, fight off the ropes and occasionally push back. But Golovkin's power was ultimately too much for him. Golovkin truly is amazing."
With Murray having to take one or two chances, that allows Golovkin to find a way through and that's that, the referee calling a halt to proceedings after another barrage from Golokin with the challenger on the ropes. The man is a beast - and Golovkin's not bad either...
Famed boxing commentator Kevin Iole: The referee should step in here. Murray is too brave and is taking too much punishment.British middleweight Anthony Ogogo: Typically British, brilliantly brave effort from Murray. Come on son. Pull something out the bag.American two-weight champion and pundit Paul Malignaggi: Murray too tough and brave for his own good. Unbelievable courage but someone should consider stopping this soon.
While Murray has had some success, it's clear that Golovkin takes a fairly big lick. Murray with a sweet left hook, though, before Golovkin digs a right into the body. A couple of scything lefts from Golovkin skewers Murray on the ropes before Murray comes back with a left of his own. Proper fight, this, make no mistake, despite the lop-sided scorecard. Big left from Golovkin gets Murray's attention but Murray is as hard as they come... down goes Murray, big overhand right to the top of the head on the bell. Up he gets again, the kid is made from girders...
BBC scorecard: 100-88
Former Olympic champion Audley Harrison: Tough fight for Murray. Gallant and brave as they come. Doing Britain proud.Guardian reporter Kevin Mitchell: The problem every fighter has with Golovkin is that he hits harder and takes a better punch than anyone else in the division.ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael: Time for the corner to think about pulling Murray out. He's taking massive damage.
Murray has been having some success when he's been able to take the centre of the ring, but it never lasts too long, with the champion always succeeding in pushing him back by virtue of the weight of his shots. Murray pings in a couple of counters as Golovkin comes forward and that right is working well for the challenger at close range. But you have to say that's the champion's round again, despite some smart work under intense pressure by the challenger.
BBC scorecard: 90-80
Murray starts the round on the front foot but is soon wheeling backwards again, Golovkin chiselling away at the Briton's defences. Golovkin looking for that looping left hook and he lands one on the bell, but Murray does very well to stand up to it, again. Golovkin's round, no doubt, but that will have taken a lot out of him. Unknown territory now Golovkin, let's see how he finds it. Murray, of course, has been there a fair few times previously.
BBC scorecard: 80-71
Signs that Golovkin is tiring? Oliver Harrison believes so in Murray's corner, at least he says he does. Murray pushing Golovkin back at the start of the round and the champion doesn't look as energetic all of a sudden - remember, he hasn't been past eight rounds before. Murray gets through with two body shots and a combination just before the bell and the man from St Helens doesn't look like he's going anywhere for now.
BBC scorecard: 70-62
I should have said, that was the first time Murray has been dropped in his career, amateur or pro. Golovkin's punches reach parts other punches cannot reach. Murray is a top-class middleweight, he's been in with some great 160lb fighters and more than held his own, and he is being dismantled here by Golovkin. Murray's face breaking up and he ships another looping right from the champion, just behind the ear. Murray lands with a right, and another, and this is a better round from the challenger. Golovkin gets two or three uppercuts through Murray's guard. Murray might as well throw caution to the wind now, he's not going to win this on points.
BBC scorecard: 60-53
Oscar De La Hoya, promoter and multiple world champion: You need to push back Golovkin and hold your ground. Most importantly you need power against GGG.Guardian reporter Kevin Mitchell: Golovkin's like a butcher carving a Sunday roast. No anger, no problem. Just wicked, clinical power. Brave, bleeding Murray still in there.
"Do you want to continue?" said the referee to Murray after that second knockdown, to which Murray replied: "Of course." Good man. Murray's face leaking blood now. Another right wobbles Murray on the ropes, this fight only has a matter of minutes to run, you feel. Good, sharp right from Murray and he needed that, just something to make the champion think again. Golovkin has such variety, his uppercuts, too, are real weapons. Another juddering right from Golovkin on the bell, one-way traffic...
BBC scorecard: 50-44
If Murray was wondering what all the fuss was about before that round, he knows now. Murray spending more and more time on the ropes and I'm not sure that's the place to be against Golovkin. Good work to the body from Murray... another right from Golovkin but Murray stands up to it well. Murray with a cute left to the body but it's a rare success. Right to the body and Murray is down... back up at eight and Murray goes down again after another right to the body. Up at eight again... Murray on his skates and he's given a break by the referee, who thought he heard the bell. Murray survives... just...
BBC scorecard: 40-35
Murray making Golovkin miss on the way in and putting him off balance with his sharp counters. Left hook from Golovkin but nothing moving Murray so far. Good quality stuff by both men in this round, with some smart work on the inside. Crunching overhand right from Golovkin and Murray starts chuntering, usually a sign it stung a bit. Left-right from Golovkin and Murray is on roller-skates suddenly at the end of the round - but survives...
BBC scorecard: 30-27
Murray gets a talking to for pushing Golovkin down, he doesn't want to be docked a point. Murray lands with a right before Golovkin hits back with a left to the body. Ugly at times, fair bit of holding, but Golovkin gets through with a right to the body. Murray shrugs after a Golovkin attack and the Brit is getting through with the odd counter. Right uppercut from Golovkin - the champion's round, but Murray looking comfortable enough.
BBC scorecard: 20-18
They say Golovkin is the sort of fighter who moves men when he as much as touches them and his jab is as good as anyone's, a weapon in its own right. Murray on the back foot but nothing clean so far from Golovkin, except for a couple of sharp jabs that pierce the Murray guard. Golovkin's round, but Murray looked assured on the back foot.
BBC scorecard: 10-9
It's Michael Buffer doing the honours in Monte Carlo, so when I say they're getting ready to rumble, I mean that quite literally. We'll have action in a couple of minutes...
Paul Smith at ringside: "I started off OK. But he was better tonight than before. I came on late, after having had a good telling off in the corner. But his body shots took it out of me. His defence is quality and he's so hard. He's like a brick wall.
"I felt I've held my own against a quality world champion. I believe I beat him the first time but he did beat me tonight. It's just one of those things. But I did leave it all in there tonight, and I'm going home with no regrets. He did the job tonight."
5 live Boxing, BBC Radio 5 live
"Martin Murray is scathing and dismissive of previous opponents of Golovkin. He's been training away from home for six weeks at altitude in South Africa. He's got a game-plan, and he'll go for it. He won't float through the fight, never coming close to winning a round.
"Murray really is a throwback fighter - he will not be able to live with himself if he doesn't give it his all. And he's not afraid."
Martin Murray is already in the ring in Monte Carlo and here comes GGG. A small but vocal contingent of Kazakhstani fans in the Salle des Etoiles, which seems to be more of a ballroom set-up than an arena. Murray has got his own fans here as well, and they're making a racket.
5 live Boxing, BBC Radio 5 live
"Fight fans, writers and commentators talk at the moment of echoes of Mike Tyson when they discuss this remarkable middleweight from Kazakhstan, Gennady Golovkin. Those echoes are of his record, which is 28 inside-the-distance wins from 31, unbeaten, and a streak of 18 consecutive inside-the-distance wins.
"Martin Murray has had two previous attempts at winning a world title. Outside of Murray's own camp, very few people are giving him any chance at all."
Predictions and insight from some of the nation's best boxing writers:
"If Murray returns from Monaco with his dignity intact, he should put it on a par with getting a lift back from Mars."Kevin Mitchell, Guardian
"Win and the qualified youth worker from St Helens, who says he will transform the lives of young people when he retires, will make a massive name for himself given the awe with which the Kazakh is held in boxing circles."Gareth A Davies, Daily Telegraph
"This fella Golovkin is a one-off. If he keeps going the way he is, he might just finish as the greatest middleweight in history. I'd love to see Murray take him the distance in Monaco but suspect that the jackpot is out of his reach."Barry McGuigan, Daily Mirror
"The chandeliers of this casino ballroom will glitter down on either Gennady Golovkin hammering out his latest concussive triumph… or Martin Murray springing one of boxing's bigger surprises."Jeff Powell, Daily Mail
"Murray's plan will be based around showing Golovkin angles and movement and forcing him backwards. However, getting the Kazakh out of his stride is something many have tried and none has managed."Ron Lewis, Times
Martin Murray on Channel 5: "Golovkin is a great fighter and everyone knows that. I have never once badmouthed him. But I've just got a feeling, and I've had it for a long time now, that I'm going to be the man to beat him.
"I took myself away from my family, which has absolutely killed me, and have trained in ways I never have before. Those are the things you have to do, and I've given myself every possible chance and opportunity to win this fight."
All three judges give it to Abraham and this time they all got it pretty much spot on, after some ludicrous scoring in their first fight last year. Righto, time to head to Monte Carlo, where St Helens's Martin Murray is about to challenge the destructive Gennady Golovkin, the WBA middleweight champion.
Tremendous stuff from Smith, that was such a courageous effort against a very different Arthur Abraham from last time. The champion looked like a tank in there and he performed like one. We've given it to Abraham by five points, but I suspect the judges in Berlin might see it even wider...
Huge ovation for both fighters at the start of the 12th and final round, it's been a fine effort from the challenger and an even finer one from the champion. A short break for a bit of mopping up in the centre of the ring before the boys go back to work. Abraham, after that break in the 11th, wants to finish this now but Smith is determined to make it to the final bell. Still wheeling away with body shots and Abraham not really throwing much back. Abraham jags Smith's head back with a couple of wicked shots towards the end and that was probably the champion's round.
BBC scorecard: 117-112
Abraham can just take the hand-brake off and roll towards the final bell now, he's done enough. Smith doing most of the work and Abraham happy to soak it up with that high guard of his. A couple of body shots from Smith but Abraham is unmoved. That's Smith's round, but it's far too little, far too late, and Abraham knows it.
BBC scorecard: 107-103
Courageous in the extreme from Smith but as Abraham takes a break, Smith's shots are like stones ricocheting off a stationary tank. Smith wobbled by a big right hand, more of a loss of balance than anything else, and that was another round to the champion. It's getting wide out there...
BBC scorecard: 98-93
Paul Smith's trainer Joe Gallagher in the corner: "Three rounds left, Paul. Nine minutes. Be smart with your work, don't be reckless, get back to your jab and shoot at the body. You'll never get another chance, man."
Highly efficient performance from the home fighter so far and that's a cute jab that finds the tip of Smith's chin. Big right from Abraham, Smith did well to stand up to that, and the challenger is being slowly chiselled away now, and he hasn't got the necessary tools to do much damage to Abraham. Gallagher tells Smith he's two rounds down, and that he needs the last three...
BBC scorecard: 88-84
Abraham pecking away at Smith with his jab, keeping Smith at range. Crunching body shot from Smith but Abraham comes trundling forward regardless. Lovely right from Abraham backs Smith up, and another. Another head assault from Abraham on the bell, this fight going in one direction now.
BBC scorecard: 78-75
Amir Khan, former two-time world champion at light-welterweight: Watching Paul Smith. Fight's very close. Abraham seems to be slowing down with those body shots from Paul. Keep those body shot going in!
"You go out there and set about him," says trainer Joe Gallagher as Smith rises from his stool, and he gets through with another sharp left hook 30 seconds in. Smith on the ropes again but he stands up to some crunching blows, not for the first time, although one or two did get through. Great finish to the round, with Abraham teeing off on Smith on the ropes and Smith coming back with some spiteful body shots. Good fight, this...
BBC scorecard: 68-66
Paul Smith's trainer Joe Gallagher in the corner: "Get in there, let's see the old Paul Smith. Get about him!"