By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Japanese national hero, WBA middleweight champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata (13-1, 10 KOs) welcomed Top Rank CEO Bob Arum’s attendance at the press conference on Friday prior to his sensational initial defense against Italian Emanuele Blandamura (27-2, 5 KOs) on this coming Sunday.
ESPN will telecast this title bout live in US on Sunday morning and show it again at night, which has motivated the defending champ Ryota, who said, “I’d like to have this fight appeal to the world. Now that I have prepared very well, I wish to do and demonstrate my best.”
Bob Arum in attendance at the press conference disclosed his future plan, saying, “Should Murata be victorious on Sunday, I plan Murata will fight his second defense at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this fall. His challenger might be Brazilian Esquiva Falcao (who had lost a hairline 14-13 decision to Murata in the Olympic final in London but has scored twenty wins straight since he entered the paid ranks).” Arum also disclosed a big project plan of staging a dream promotion of a unification title bout between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Murata at the Tokyo Dome.
Also in attendance were the contestants with the WBC flyweight championship on the line—defending champ Daigo Higa (15-0, 15 KOs), Japan, and #2 Cristofer Rosales (26-3, 17 KOs) from Nicaragua. Higa said, “I’ll try to finish him from the first round.” Rosales replied, “My condition is perfect. I have done a special training and prepare a special strategy to cope with the hard-punching Higa.”
On Thursday, there took place the medical examination of the world title participants, the results of which were as follows:
WBA middleweight title bout:
Ryota Murata/Emanuele Blandamura
Height: 183 cm/178 cm 6’0”/5’10”
Reach: 184 cm/179 cm 72.4”/70.5”
Neck: 41 cm/39 cm 16.1”/15.4”
Chest: 98.5 cm/99 cm 38.8”/39”
WBC flyweight title bout:
Daigo Higa/Cristofer Rosales
Height: 161 cm/169 cm 63.4”/66.5” (3 inch difference)
Reach: 163 cm/181 cm 64.2”/71.3” (7 inch difference)
Neck: 35 cm/36 cm 13.8”/14.2”
Chest: 97 cm/79 cm 38.2”/31.1” (7 inch difference)
This sensational event will be presented by Teiken Promotions to be telecast live by Fuji Television in Japan.