Yesterday fans watching on the Top Rank youtube channel or CCTV 5 saw Japan's 2012 Olympic Hero Ryota Murata (9-0, 6) [村田 諒太] score a 2nd round TKO win over Argentinian fighter Gaston Alejandro Vega (24-11-1-1, 10) in a bout staged in Shanghai. That bout saw Murasta extend his unbeaten record and kick off 2016 with a bout that had some moments of excitement.
Today, following that bout, the Japanese press went relatively crazy with a number of articles about the contest and the post fight press conference, which took place today.
At that press conference Teiken president Akihiko Honda [本田 明彦] layed down Teiken plans for their Middleweight hopeful.
As previously reported the immediate future seems to be a US training camp, which is to take place in March and see Murata sharing the ring with some top sparring partners as he looks to make some drastic improvements and prepare himself for some world level competition later in the year.
Following that training camp the focus will be on a bout in May. Details in regards to that bout aren't yet available though it's likely to be in Japan with the potential to come on the same card as the next bouts featuring Naoya Inoue (9-0, 8) [井上 尚弥], who is expected to be facing David Carmona (20-2-5, 8), and Akira Yaegashi (23-5, 12) [八重樫 東], with all three men being favourites of Fuji TV.
According to Honda's comments today the plan is to then work towards getting a bout with unbeaten British fighter Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12), the current WBO champion.
Whilst Saunders appears to be the "easy" target at Middleweight, given that Gennady Golovkin [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] holds the WBA "super" and IBF title and appears to be chasing the WBC title for which he is the mandatory challenger, it's also fair to say that Saunders has other possible opponents and would certainly not be forced into facing Murata unless Teiken can pull some strings with the WBO to get their man into a mandatory position.
As of the latest WBO rankings Murta is ranked #8, though could find himself rising through the rankings in February given his recent activity.
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