Earlier today ESPN's Steve Kim reported that Japanese star Ryota Murata (14-2, 11) [村田 諒太] was looking likely to face American Rob Brant (25-1, 17) in July, in an attempt to reclaim the WBA "regular" Middleweight title.
Originally the plan had been for Murata to face Jeff Horn in June, though the bout was rescheduled to July and Horn was unable to take the date due to family reasons, with his wife set to give birth around the July date. As a result it looks like Murata and his team have began looking else where, with a Brant rematch looking likely to be their preferred choice.
Murata lost the WBA "regular" Middleweight title to Brant last October, losing a wide and clear decision to the American. The bout made Murata seem terrible, and being used as a bit of a human punch bag by Brant who was too quick, too sharp and too busy for the predictable Murata.
Since their first bout Murata has been out of the ring, whilst Brant has recorded a single defense of the WBA "regular" title, whilst being frozen out of the biggest bouts in the division.
Interestingly Kim revealed the bout is being eyed for Osaka. That would make it Brant's first bout in Asia, and Murata's second bout in Kansai region, his first in the region since beating Jesus Angel Nerio back in 2014.
The idea that the show will be in Osaka does lead to some interesting possibles for the show, which could feature at least 1 other major bout or a number of Teiken prospects, such as Kuntae Lee (1-0, 1) [李 健太] and Mikito Nakano (2-0, 2) [中野幹士], who have both been inactive since February.
Former amateur stand out Kuntae Lee (1-0, 1) [李 健太] made a successful debut earlier today as he stopped inept Thai foe Aphisit Namkhot (1-2, 1) late in the opening round.
For much of the opening round Lee just took part in an exhibition of jabs, tagging the Thai with his southpaw jab over, and over, hardly throwing anything else. He lived up to the reputation he had had from the amateurs, as a crisp, clean, quick puncher and hardly missed a jab. As well as landing the jab he did put a few feints in with his left uppercut, but never threw it, likely gauging how Aphisit would react.
With only seconds left in the round Lee began to throw with a little more variation, landing his only left hand of the fight. It sent Aphisit down in a heap, and he would then be counted out.
It was a solid debut from the highly touted Lee, but he will almost certainly be demanding better tests in the future. This was comfortable, for a debut, but he won't want to waste time with too many mismatches, as he is simply too good to waste time against such terrible opposition.
On Saturday in Tokyo we'll see the long awaited debut of Kuntae Lee (0-0) [李 健太], who takes on Thai foe Aphisit Namkhot (1-1, 1). Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout.
On the scales the debuting Japanese fighter was dead on the Light Welterweight limit, whilst the Thai visitor was 138.7lbs.
Lee, for those unaware, ran up a 102-10 amateur record, and won 62 bouts in a row, a Japanese record. He fought for the North Korean amateur team in a number of international competitions and is tipped to be a major face on the Japanese scene in the coming years.
For fans wanting to see his debut, it will be aired live on G+ tomorrow.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Over the last days or so Teiken have finally uploaded a small profile of former amateur standout Kuntae Lee (0-0) [李 健太], who has previously had his name transcribed as Gonte Lee, Ri Gonte and Li Gonte.
The profile not only clarifies how his name should be transcribed but also some other details about the former North Korean amateur fighter. These include the fact that he is B blood type, likes to dance in his free time and started boxing because he wanted to be strong.
On a more serious note the profile lists his birthday, a missing detail from many sites, as being March 9th 1996, making him 22 years old.
With just a few days to go until his debut it does seem like we'll see if he can live up the expectations on his shoulders, though those expectations have come from an amateur that saw him going 102-10.
For those unaware, Lee will debut this weekend, when he takes on Aphisit Namkhot (1-1, 1) live on G+ as part of a stacked Dynamic Glove card.
(Image courtesy of Teiken)
Earlier today we saw confirmation that former amateur standout Li Gonte (0-0) [李健太], also known as Ri Kon-Thae, would be making his debut on February 2nd as part of the Dynamic Glove card on G+.
When we talk about Gonte, who's name we're expecting will be transcribed differently in the future, we really are talking about an exceptional amateur fighter. He set a Japanese record for most successive wins in the amateurs, at 62, and competed for North Korea in a number of international events, including the 2018 Asian Games and the 2014 AIBA Youth Championships. In total he compiled a total record of 102-10 in the unpaid ranks and was seen as a potential 2020 Olympian for North Korea before deciding to turn professional.
On his pro-test Gonte shared the ring with Masaya Tamayama (12-1, 6) [玉山将也] and looked fantastic, with others stating he smart, sharp and ultra quick.
His debut will be over 6 rounds at 140lbs, and we believe he will be up against Aphisit Namkhot (1-1, 1), with the expectation being that he will shine and be moved incredibly quickly through the rest of the year.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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