Murata quickly demolishes Brant, regains WBA 160lb belt

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda (to come soon)

Former champ Ryota Murata (15-2, 12 KOs), 159.5, impressively regained his WBA middleweight belt when he caught up with defending titlist and his conqueror Rob Brant (25-2, 17 KOs), 159.25, dropped him with a fusillade of punches and halted him at 2:34 of the second round on Friday in Osaka, Japan.

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  • It was an exciting fight for the fans, but maybe not for Brant. That first round was similar to the Hagler-Hearns first round. All-action from bell to bell. Murata came out like a house afire and was matching Brant punch for punch. Brant was staggered at least once as Murata kept up the attack till the bell.

    The second round was a complete beatdown as Murata hurt Brant badly and never let him off the hook. The difference between this Murata and the one in the first fight is like night and day. This version is formidable and a match for any of the top fighters. He’s also got a lot of power to go with his aggressiveness.

    I was surprised that Brant didn’t hold at all once Murata had him hurt. He just held up his hands and took punishment without moving. I assume that’s lack of experience but he had better learn how to do that when hurt if he continues his career. This was Murata’s fight and he just wouldn’t be denied. The difference from the first fight is that he actually threw a lot of punches as he attacked and just overwhelmed Brant with his power and punch output.

    It is strange to listen to the US National Anthem sung by a lady Japanese singer. However, she did a credible job, better than many others I’ve heard.

    Looks like Murata is back on track for a big money fight with the top fighters in the division. As for Brant, he’s got a lot to work on before he gets back in there with the best fighters in the division.

  • Sounds like he got caught cold and never recovered. It happens. As the title reclaimer can tell you, there is always the rematch, get back up and hit the drawing board.

  • “Demolishes”? That’s a pretty strong description of a fight that ended with both men still on their feet. Brant should have held and was taking quite a few shots, but I thought he could and should have been allowed to continue.

    Note: he also should have taken the full 8 count when he was knocked down instead of popping back up.

  • Damn! The Japanese fighter just re-entered the mix at 160. I also think that he is going to be a very near future opponent for Canelo, because Murata has a big name and brings monetary potential to the table. I can see John skipper from DAZN approving Murata as a future opponent for Canelo to justify that 365 million dollars.

  • I think Murata is with Top Rank. That kind of counts out him fighting Golovkin. Not saying that fight won’t happen. Canelo told Golovkin to go get a belt. So he can choose Murata or Andrade. Murata may fight some contender in the WBA now at 160. Not sure if he gets a Canelo or Golovkin fight. I think Murata should fight him in Japan or not fight him at all. Canelo gets all the breaks fighting in the U.S.

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