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.
We don't like mismatches, especially when it's top amateur fighters taking on opponents they should be in the ring with. We sadly saw one such mismatch today as Japanese prodigy Mikito Nakano (2-0, 2) [中野幹士] faced off with the woeful Ekkalak Rapralkhon (1-2)*.
After just a few seconds it seemed like Nakano knew the visitor had nothing to offer, and he decided that he wasn't going to waste his time carrying his foe, instead he went for the finish and put the Thai on the retreat.
Around the midway point of the opening round Nakano connected with a brutal body blow that left his foe on the canvas in agony. The referee counted to 10 but he could have counted to 50 and the Thai still wouldn't have got up and continued. It was one of the best body shots we've seen in 2019, but it was against such a poor opponent that it's hard to take many positives from this.
Thankfully, having fought for about 100 seconds, it shouldn't be too long until Nakano returns to the ring, and hopefully faces a more interesting opponent.
*Please note we may have the spelling of the Thai's name incorrect, we will be correcting when we have confirmation
Last October we saw the professional debut of former Japanese amateur standout Mikito Nakano (1-0, 1) [中野幹士], who stopped Thai foe Thanawat Yancharoen in the second round of their scheduled 6 round bout. It's now been announced that he has been added to the January 2nd Dynamic Glove card for what will be his second professional contest.
As an amateur Nakano went 68-9 (48) and he is tipped to be one the future stars of the Teiken gym, with many both inside and outside the gym speaking incredibly highly of him, his skills and his ring IQ.
At the moment no real details have been released about the contest, but they are expected to be revealed over the coming days. What we do know is that the youngster has been added to a card that had already garnered interest for 2 other reasons.
One of those reason was that the show will feature the ring return of Kenichi Ogawa (22-1-0-1, 17) [尾川 堅一] following a 12 month ban for failing a drug test. He will be up against Roldan Aldea (12-6-1, 6), with Ogawa fight for the first time December 2017.
The other reason is that we will see a new Japanese Flyweight champion being crowned, as Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] fight for the vacant title, which was recently given up by Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之].
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see former Japanese amateur stand out Mikito Nakano (1-0, 1) [中野幹士] make his professional debut on a Dynamic Glove card, that sadly left his bout off the live broadcast though it will be shown on tape delay.
The touted Nakano, one of the newest professionals at the Teiken Gym, had ran up an excellent amateur record before turning professional and many in Japan have tipped him for huge success. Today he showed those in attendance why he is so highly regarded as he destroyed Thai visitor Thanawat Yancharoen (1-4) in 2 rounds.
Nakano showed his clear edge in speed to begin the bout, landing his right hook and straight left as and when he wanted before upping the ante and dropping the Thai with a body shot in round 2. The Thai failed to beat the 10 count as Nakano began his professional career with an eye catching KO win.
We expect to see a lot of Nakano over the coming years are the future really is very bright for him. As mentioned this bout wasn't shown live on TV but will be shown very shortly, with the possibility of being shown after the main event of the card, prior to the full show replay next week.
Over the last few weeks we've reported that Mikito Nakano (0-0) [中野幹士] would be making his debut in October.
Today, ahead of that bout, he took part in his B License pro-test, along with fellow amateur standout Li Gonte (0-0) [李健太が], also known as Ri Kon-Thae.
Nakano was a former standout in the amateur ranks claiming multiple Japanese titles and running up an excellent 75-9 record. His debut is expected to begin a journey towards multiple world titles. Amazingly though he maybe the lesser fighter from these two men.
Gonte has notable international experience, having represented North Korea at the 2014 World Youth Championships and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, and went on a 62 fight unbeaten run as he rocked up a record of 102-10 in the amateurs, whilst picking up numerous domestic titles. Sadly however it's unclear when he will be making his debut.
Both men are Teiken fighters and both are expected to achieve serious success in the years to come.
Officially both men will have their test results announced tomorrow, though both are expected to pass with no issues at all.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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