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Murray Wins, Champ Next

September 26, 1996

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Charles Murray knocked out Benji Singleton in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round fight Wednesday night to cement his position as the next challenger to IBF junior welterweight champion Kostya Tsyzu.

Murray, who expects to fight Tsyzu in January, improved to 38-3 with his sixth win in a row. The Rochester, N.Y., native held the IBF crown for nine months during 1993-94.

Murray, 148, who is ranked in the top 10 of boxing’s three main boxing organizations, kept Singleton, 147, of Charlotte, Va., at bay during the first three rounds, then took control in the fourth with several rights to the head.

In the fifth, Murray twice knocked down Singleton with left hooks. Referee Tony Perez stopped the fight at 2:32 of the fifth round. Singleton is 13-20.

``He tried hard to rush me, but I kept my hands up,″ Murray said. ``It might not have looked like it, but I felt like I was control from the start.″

In a heavyweight bout, Shannon Briggs of Brooklyn rebounded from his only professional loss by knocking out Tim Ray in the first round. Briggs improved to 26-1 while Ray, from Louisville, Ky., fell to 7-5.

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