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Murata sinks Butler, retains WBA 160lb belt

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

WBA middleweight champ Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs), Japan, retained his belt as he kept stalking Canada’s Steven Butler (28-2-1, 24 KOs), 160, and finally caught up with him, dropping him to score a fine TKO victory a 2:45 of the fifth round on Monday in Yokohama, Japan.

Butler fought well, making good use of his hand speed and footwork.  But Murata patiently went forward with his solid left-right combinations and accelerated his attack from the third onward.  The fatal fifth saw Murata explode a vicious attack and sink him with a left hook followed by an effective combination.  The referee Rafael Ramos (US) made a well-timed stoppage and save Butler from further punishment.

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  • They should give Zerafa the title fight still. Horn will drop to 154. And Zerafa just walked into a right while Horn was circling and backing up to his right, and then he stopped and traded punches with Zerafa, but ducked under Zerafa’s shot (Horn was lucky the ref stopped the action to let the ringside doctor put some pressure on that cut for 10 seconds, plus it was a 15 second plus break for Horn). After 8 rounds, the fight was even. Horn would have lost that 9th round 10-8 if he didn’t land that right. To me, Horn probably won the 2nd Zerafa fight 96-93. Zerafa would be a cheaper payoff to get one of those guys to go to Japan. If Zerafa were offered 42,000,000 Japanese Yen to fight Murata by May 2020, I am pretty sure he would take it. Jeff Horn would probably have to be offered close to 200,000,000 Japanese Yen to get Horn to consider going over to Japan to fight Murata.

  • As 2019 comes to a close, it looks like Wilder is the best heavyweight. He’ll prove it in 2020. In December, 1970, we were talking about Ali’s KO over Oscar. Ali vs. Frazier1, next!

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