Ryota Murata has the opportunity to avenge his loss to Rob Brant and reclaim the WBA regular middleweight championship when he rematches the American on home soil in front of a capacity crowd in Osaka, Japan next Friday. 

Murata, a 2012 Olympic Gold medallist, has previously avenged a setback to Hassan N’Dam – winning a rematch in thoroughly dominant fashion with a seventh-round stoppage, after he was contentiously outpointed by the Cameroonian in the first fight.

However, there was nothing controversial whatsoever about his loss to Brant in Las Vegas. Brant, who was designated as the pre-fight underdog following an inauspicious debut at super-middleweight, came out like a man possessed and bamboozled his opponent with his perpetual movement and accurate volume-punching – throwing over a thousand punches throughout the fight, and winning almost every round in the process.

Murata – someone who possesses his own reserve of devastating punching power – coupled with a relentless combination-punching approach – was resoundingly beaten at his own game, and the nature of Brant’s win suggests that ‘Bravo’ should harbour unbridled confidence in his ability to do the double over his Japanese counterpart; even as the away fighter. 

On the other hand, Murata’s supporters will be wanting to believe that Japan native’s performance was indicative of an off-night as opposed to athletic decline or Brant’s inherent superiority, and they will be hoping that this time round – armed with vociferous home support and the knowledge of what to expect – the home favourite will be able to exact his revenge and work his way back into middleweight title contention.

Article by: Navi Singh

Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________