Japanese Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (7-0, 5) took a big step up in class today and managed to score his most significant victory to date as he scored a 5th round TKO against WBO #15 ranked Brazilian Middleweight Douglas Damiao Ataide (13-2-1, 6).
The bout was a strange one. For 4 rounds Murata looked reserved, he fought behind a high guard and picked his spots to land either his thudding jab or short combinations whilst applying pressure to the Brazilian and making the most of his insane physical strength. Ataide on the other hand moved around, landed some flash combinations, most of which were blocked but some shots certainly got through, and looked the faster and more skilled fighter.
For 4 rounds it was Murata's careful pressure against Ataide's movement and speed. The traded their moments though it did seem that neither was going to be able to shift the other.
In round 5 however Murata moved from first gear to fourth gear and immediately let his 1-2's go with spiteful force. This change in pace saw Murata catching Ataide in the opening moments of the round with a big right hand that sent the Brazilian crumbling to the canvas.
To his credit Ataide got back up and tried to fight back but only to taste Murata's power again soon afterwards as he was dumped on the canvas for the second time in the fight. This time however it was over, the referee had seen enough and called a halt with Ataide still down.
The win for Murata should get him a WBO ranking to add to his current WBC rating. It will however leave us with the clear knowledge that the Japanese fighter has got that extra gear. We saw for the 38 completed seconds of the 5th round. That extra gear is what he's been missing at times and if we see more of that then we suspect he will be able to claim a world title down the line. The problem however is whether or not he'll be able to fight like that for prolonged stretches. If he can then he will be very hard to beat.
(Image courtesy of Sho Horiuchi/daily.co.jp)
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