By Rory Houston
Andy Murray recovered from a first-round knockdown to earn a 98-92 points victory over Claudinei Lacerda in a 10-round contest in Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar.
In an enthralling and energetic battle, Murray showed excellent spirit to recover from being floored after just 50 seconds by the powerful Brazilian.
The Cavan boxer bounced back well and was on top in the majority of the 10-round contest after the knockdown, but Lacerda produced some tremendous punches throughout the fight, meaning the outcome was always in doubt.
As expected, Lacerda showed plenty of aggression and power, but Murray’s skill and endeavour saw him home.
The Brazilian boxer’s raw style gave Murray an advantage in that he could pick off punches to keep Lacerda at bay and benefit on the judge's scorecard.
In the third and fourth round Murray came close to finding a flurry of punches that would have forced a stoppage, but he just couldn’t make the breakthrough.
It left an obvious danger for the Cavan man as he was forced to avoid being drawn in by Lacerda’s hard-hitting shots and still maintain the points advantage he had built up in the middle of the fight.
In the final moments it was all about keeping Lacerda at bay for the 28-year-old Murray and he closed the fight out in an impressive fashion to further enhance his chances of earning a European title opportunity.