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Heartbreak for St Helens' Martin Murray as fourth title bid ends in defeat

It was heartbreak again for St Helens' Martin Murray as his fourth world title attempt ended in defeat once more against Arthur Abraham in Germany.

The defending WBO super-middleweight champion won a split points decision 115-112, 112-115, 116-111 to retain his belt.

Murray had little success in the opening rounds in Hanover and was caught by a straight, powerful right hand in the third.

It was not until the sixth that Murray landed something meaningful, forcing his opponent back on to the ropes with a right hand, but Abraham responded with a counter to mark the Briton's face.

The champion twice caught Murray in the seventh but he landed the best punch of the fight in the next round, catching Abraham with a big right glove.

Murray was deducted a point, after a couple of warnings, in the 11th for using the shoulder, which all-but ended the 33-year-old's hopes.

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Boxers set for world title redemption

The next couple of weeks could be the biggest that North West boxing has ever seen.

Next week Tyson Fury bids to become heavyweight champion of the world. But, before that, two more of our boxers can become world champions.

Manchester's Anthony Crolla will be roared on by a home crowd in his rematch with Colombian Darleys Perez while St Helens hero Martin Murray is in Hannover to face Arthur Abraham.

Chris Hall reports.

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Fury accuses Klitschko of faking injury

Credit: Press Association Images

Tyson Fury has accused Wladimir Klitschko of faking injury after the Ukrainian postponed their world heavyweight title bout claiming a calf problem.

Fury had been due to face Klitschko in Dusseldorf on October 24 but the bout will have to be re-scheduled following the announcement by Klitschko on Friday.

But Fury claimed he knew the 39-year-old was going to pull out, and questioned the legitimacy of the reason he gave.

"Whatever Klitschko's reasons are, I can tell you all now there's no injury," Fury said on Sky Sports News. "He either needs more time to prepare, more time to get his mind set straight, or more time to talk over what he's going to do.

"There's definitely no injury. Definitely, definitely not."

The postponement is the latest misfortune to befall Fury after two bouts against David Haye were postponed in 2013, and a domestic meeting with Dereck Chisora was also delayed last year.

Klitschko's announcement comes just two days after Fury dressed as Batman and wrestled a man dressed as The Joker during a press conference to promote the fight in London.

"Am I that intimidating? Am I that scary?" Fury added. "Batman worked a treat, and cost me a big fight again. Let's hope he wants to do the fight again. He can't go anywhere else. The only option is to retire like the other man, with no name (Haye). Am I going to be the man who retires people rather than fights (them). We will find out."

Fury said he feels for his supporters as they have to unpick their travel plans with yet another fight postponed.

"All my supporters and fans - they always lose out," he said.

"It's all right for us - we're in training camps, we get our expenses back, but what about all the people who have travelled and paid money for the tickets.

"Things are hard. People are doing this because they're showing support, because some of my fans can't afford to go really, but they pushed the boat out because it's a massive occasion, a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

"I'm wounded for all these people and this happens too much in boxing, and it's not the fighters that pay for it, it's the fans. We get our bits and pieces back - they don't."

Klitschko said he would aim to recover "as fast as possible" so that the contest can be re-arranged, with a new date expected as early as next week.

Klitschko said: "Especially after the exciting press conference last Wednesday, I was looking forward to this fight very much. I know that a lot of fans have already organised their trips to support me in Dusseldorf.

"I am so sorry that I am not able to fight on October 24. I also apologise to my opponent, who has spent many weeks preparing for this fight. I will do my very best to recover as fast as possible."

Klitschko sustained the injury during a training session on Wednesday and a subsequent MRI scan revealed a partial tear of the left calf.

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