Last night fans around the world turned their focus on the US where Top Rank held a bumper card featuring a world title unification between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol, the coronation of a star in waiting in Oscar Valdez, the next step in the career of Oleksandr Gvozdyk and the entertaining bout between Jose Benevidez and Francisco Santana, a bout that will be remembered for one of the worst score-cards this year.
Prior to the telecast HBO stream the under-card which featured two Asian fighters.
One of those was Japan's promising Middleweight contender Ryota Murata's (11-0, 8) [村田 諒太], who took his opportunity to shine on the under-card. The 2012 Olympic champion almost broke the experienced George Tahdooahnippah (34-3-3-2, 24) in half with a body shot, before a follow up barage of right hands forced the referee to stop the out classed "Comanche Boy". Although limited this was viewed by many as a step up for Murata, who was expected to win, but take a while to do so. Instead he dominated from the off and got the job done within 2 minutes.
After the bout Mr Honda mentioned Billy Joe Saunders' name as a possible target for Murata, however if negotiations cannot be sorted quickly the focus will be on getting Murata back out in November.
The other Asian wass former world title challenger Ik Yang (19-2-0-1, 14) [杨连慧] who looked genuinely dreadful before being stopped in the 6th round by Australian Leonardo Zappavigna (35-2, 25), who adds Yang's name to that of Ji Hoon Kim and Shuhei Tsucihya in terms of solid Asian fighters who he has stopped.
Yang had coming in looking like his usual unorthodox self but was picked off by a busier, more accurate Zappavigna who wobbled him early before turning up the heat in round 6, forcing the referee to save the "Wildman", who probably needs to consider either hiring a better trainer, or leaving the sport with a few brain cells intact. This performance from Yang was simply dreadful.
Sadly for Chinese boxing this was another high profile loss, following other notable losses for Zou Shiming, Qiu Xiao Jun, Xiong Zhao Zhong and Ma Yi Ming.
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