Updated: Wednesday, 19th February 2020 @ 11:35am

John Murray loses exciting world title fight to unbeaten Brandon Rios

John Murray loses exciting world title fight to unbeaten Brandon Rios

By MM Sports Staff

Manchester fighter John Murray’s dream of winning the WBA lightweight title was dashed as he was stopped in the 11th round by the unbeaten Brandos Rios in New York on Saturday.

The fight had been evenly matched until Rios drew blood in the sixth then the Mexican-American took it up a notch to finally put away the brave Murray in the penultimate round.

Murray, who operates out of the Denton Gym and is trained by Joe Gallagher, has now lost his last two fights after previously being stopped by rival British fighter Kevin Mitchell.

Rios was stripped of the WBA lightweight world title before the Madison Square Garden fight after not making the weight.

He was reportedly on a water-only diet for two days before the bout in a bid to make the weight and retain his belt but it was not enough and the WBA title is now vacant.

However, Murray, who claimed he would shock the world by beating Rios before Saturday, could not take advantage and the massive weight difference between the two fighters was evident at the end.

Rios was only allowed to fight after paying Murray a $20,000 penalty but he was almost a stone heavier and the Mancunian could not last the distance against the ferocious Rios.

Fighting in close was a risky strategy and although Murray got off 921 punches, Rios got off more than 1,000 and most importantly, he landed more, especially the power shots.

Rios will now look to fight one of the world’s top fighters with Floyd Mayweather Jnr or Julio Cesar Chavez on his hit list.

Murray will look to get back to winning ways and after enjoying the big occasion on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto - Antonio Margarito bout, he will hope to fight Stateside again although he may have to wait for another tilt at a world title.