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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Rees-Murray tops big British show

By Dan Rafael

For British boxing fans, Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn has a big card in store for Dec. 8 in London. Even for non-Brits, it's a good looking card.

The main event could be, as the Brits say, a cracker -- former junior welterweight world titleholder Gavin Rees of Wales, who recently vacated the European lightweight title, will face England's John Murray.

Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs) hasn't lost since 2008, when Andriy Kotelnik stopped him in the 12th round to take his 140-pound world title.

Yes, Murray (31-2, 18 KOs) has lost two fights in a row by knockout, but he always comes to fight. His eighth-round TKO loss to Brandon Rios on the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II undercard last December was a terrific action fight. His eighth-round TKO loss to Kevin Mitchell in July 2011 was another excellent fight before it ended.

"I am over the moon to get this fight made," Hearn said. "It's one that I've wanted to make for a while and one that Gavin wants badly. They say styles make fights and we know what we are going to get with this one -- Dec. 8 is going to be an epic night of boxing."

There two other notable fights on the card:

• Former European middleweight champions Darren Barker (23-1, 14 KOs) and Kerry Hope (17-4, 1 KO) meet. Barker will be fighting for the first time since world middleweight champ Sergio Martinez stopped him in the 11th round in a competitive fight 13 months ago. Hope beat Grzegorz Proksa in March to win the European title in an upset and then was stopped by him in the eighth round of the July rematch.

• Welterweight Lee Purdy (19-3-1, 12 KOs) of England meets American Carson Jones (34-9-2, 24 KOs), who gave Kell Brook a very tough fight in a majority decision loss in July.