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Sergio Martinez predicts Martin Murray won't last past eight rounds on April 27

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World middleweight champion Sergio Martinez will return to the ring on April 27, fighting in his native Argentina against England's Martin Murray, and 'Maravilla' predicts his visiting foe won't go past the eighth round.

Jeff Bottari

Sergio Martinez will face Martin Murray for the world middleweight championship on April 27 in Argentina, and the champion says that his British opponent won't last the distance:

"Murray is a great sportsman; to be respected. He's young and strong. It's great that he wants to give his all but the fight won't go past the eighth round."

Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO) is coming off of relatively minor knee surgery following his dramatic September win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Las Vegas, and will be fighting in Argentina for the first time since February 2, 2002. The 37-year-old "Maravilla" has established himself as far and away the No. 1 man in the middleweight division today, and one of the best fighters in the world.

Murray (25-0-1, 11 KO) established himself as a legitimate contender in December 2011, when he went to a draw in Germany with Felix Sturm. Murray, 30, went 2-0 this year, but wins over Karim Achour and Jorge Navarro hardly upped his standing.

Martinez is the heavy favorite going into the fight, and is expected to draw a sizable crowd back at home, as he's become a star while traveling the world and fighting in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.