MANNHEIM, Germany -- 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 32-year-old 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," said Sturm's coach, Fritz Sdunek.
Sturm is 36-2-2. The 29-year-old Murray is 23-0-1.
The final bell may have saved Murray from getting knocked down after Sturm delivered a flurry of punches in the last few seconds. Murray, who is getting married 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.