Sturm keeps title after draw with Murray

Felix Sturm Martin Murray
Defending champion Felix Sturm and Martin Murray fought to a draw.
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MANNHEIM, Germany (AP)

Felix Sturm retained the WBA middleweight title, fighting to a draw with British challenger Martin Murray at the SAP Arena on Friday night.

After an exciting fight to the end, judge Jean-Francois Toupin scored it 116-112 for the defending champion, Ted Gimza had it 115-113 for Murray, and Pasquale Procopio ruled it even at 114-114.

''I had the clearer punches in a spectacular fight,'' said Sturm, who raised his arms after the final bell. ''It's very hard to understand. I didn't hide like a tortoise. I don't think that's enough to win a title.''

Sturm, a German of Bosnian parentage, successfully defended his title for the 11th time, and said he hopes for a rematch against Murray.

''He was underestimated by many but not by us,'' Sturm's coach Fritz Sdunek said.

The 29-year-old Murray, the reigning British, Commonwealth and intercontinental champion, had Sturm shaken in the eight round, but the 32-year-old champion used his superior experience to recover.

The final bell may have saved Murray from getting knocked down, as Sturm delivered a flurry of punches in the last few seconds.

Murray, who is getting married on Tuesday, said the result means he can at least hold his head high at his wedding.

''I won't be getting married a defeated man,'' he said.

Sturm is 36-2-2 with 15 knockouts. Murray retains his unbeaten record of 23-0-1 with 10 knockouts.

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