Murray was ‘real champion’ says Hatton

England's Martin Murray, right, knocks Sergio Martinez of Argentina to the canvas during the WBC middleweight title fight in Buenos Aires

England's Martin Murray, right, knocks Sergio Martinez of Argentina to the canvas during the WBC middleweight title fight in Buenos Aires

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RICKY Hatton says he cannot understand how Martin Murray didn’t emerge victorious against Sergio Martinez at the weekend.

Former Wigan ABC fighter Murray blocked most of the Argentinian’s southpaw’s best punches in the early rounds before taking over the second half of the contest in front of more than 40,000 fans in Buenos Aires.

The Englishman scored a knockdown in the eighth round and had the Martinez over again in the tenth only to see it ruled a slip.

Despite this, and punch stats leaning in Murray’s favour, all three judges posted scores of 115-112 for the home boxer.

“I think Martin should be the middleweight champion of the world,” said a dejected Hatton, who is Murray’s promotor.

“It was a good competitive fight but there was only one winner for me.

“When you go into the lion’s den you have to rip the title from the champion and although he couldn’t finish as strong as he we would have liked, Martin was the aggressor. He also scored a knockdown and it should have been two in my opinion.

“I think if one good thing did come out of the fight, it’s that we now know that Martin is the best middleweight in Britain as his performance against Martinez eclipsed Macklin and Barker’s by a long a way.”

Murray hails from St Helens but has close ties to Wigan. He emerged from the Wigan ABC ranks, lived in the town until recently and still trains in Ashton. His friend Paul Sculthorpe, the RL great, Tweeted: “Everyone knows who won. Murray.”