Less than a week ago we reported that WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (14-1, 11) [村田 諒太] had agreed to face mandatory challenger Rob Brant (23-1, 16) on October 20th in Las Vegas. Today the bout was officially announced with some details of the bout becoming available.
The bout will indeed take place on October 20th in Las Vegas, though now we have the specific venue, with the bout being held in the Park Theater.
Originally Murata's team had wanted to face someone with a high profile than Brant, with Jason Quigley (14-0, 11) being the man long linked to facing Murata. A sign of that was seen when Murata's team refused to take part in the purse bid for Murata Vs Brant, when the WBA demanded a 50/50 split of the purse. It seems there is still some frustration with WBA regarding the bout, with Murata stating that his impression of Brant was as a "good fighter with a high KO Rate" and he even stated that "he is highly appraised by the WBA", in what looks to be a back handed comment.
For Murata, a 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner, the focus on the bout is to beat Brant and move on to bigger and better bouts, including a potential showdown with the winner of the upcoming rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. So he wants to shine against Brant.
Interestingly it was revealed that the bout would be on DAZN, though it's unclear whether that's just in Japan or not. What makes that interesting is that his American promoter Bob Arum has a deal with ESPN+, who will likely screen the bout Stateside. If we understand things correctly Murata's bout could be on competing services in different regions, in what would be rather unique.
The bout will be the first major boxing event shown on DAZN in Japan and is expected to be the start of something huge in the country and it could shake up the domestic rights for boxing in Japan, which has been essentially shared between a small number of domestic channels over the last few years. Whether this proves to be a good thing or not is yet to be seen, but it certainly could change the broadcasting of bouts in the country, and would likely be a major rival to WOWOW for international bouts.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
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