It was widely anticipated that Murata would be next appearing on a Top Rank promoted card in October in Singapore. Instead however Murata's next fight will be in Japan and he will be fighting Mexican champion Adrian Luna Flores (17-2-1, 11) at the Yoyogi #2 Gymnasium, in Tokyo on September 5th with the bout to be scheduled for 10 rounds.
For those who have put 2 and 2 together you'd be right in assuming that that means Murata has now been added to the Ohashi gym card headlined by the Flyweight super fighter between WBA champion Akira Yaegashi (20-3, 10) and the unbeaten Roman Gonzalez (39-0, 33). The same card on which WBC Light Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5) will defend his belt against Samartlek Kokietgym (17-4, 5).
Interestingly this again sees Fuji TV linking up their two big name fighters in Murata and Inoue, who both have exclusive contracts with the channel. This will be the 3rd time the two have shared a TV broadcast together and the second time they've both been featured on the same actual card.
What this means is really interesting. Not only do Ohashi now have a potential card of the year with Murata/Luna, Yaegashi/Gonzalez and Inoue/Kokietgym but is also seems likely that the Singapore card that Top Rank had been heavily rumoured to be working on has collapsed. Not for the first time.
The Singapore card had been mentioned repeatedly by the Japanese press since the early part of the year for Murata's next fight. To now see him now added to this Tokyo card would mean that either Teiken and Top Rank have had a massive falling out out Top Rank have been unable to secure the venues, or fighters, for the supposed Singapore show.
Incidentally this echo's scenes from last year when Top Rank were rumoured to have been staging a Singapore card on September 21st 2013. That card mysteriously vanished with out trace, just, one would assume, like this one.
Whilst it's great for Murata to have had his bout announced we are a little saddened to hear that the Singapore card now looks to have been scrapped after a lot of excitement and rumours surrounding the show. With only a few weeks left until the start of October however we were starting to doubt the feasibility of the show.
It could be that a Singapore show stills goes ahead, it could that Murata fights on it as well though we tend to think that Teiken have made a decision based around Murata recent training camp in the US with Gennady Golovkin. Effectively that camp will be just as good as any he's likely to get anywhere else and it's worth using that camp to begin his preparation for a bout in early September rather than waiting until a yet to be confirmed date in October.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)