Whilst it may seem strange to change a winning formula not every thing has actually changed and Murata has continued to spar with American Light Heavyweight Lionell Thompson (15-3, 9), who we have seen Murata in the ring with in the past. The sparring, which was done on Tuesday, was the start of the training camp for the Nicklow fight and from what we understand the sparring wasn't great but it made for a decent start to the camp as both men began to find their groove.
This will be Murata's first bout since becoming a fully fledged member of the Teiken boxing stable, having previously been part of the Misako stable of fighters, though he did work very closely with Teiken. It was with Teiken stablemate Jorge Linares that Murata began his training having spent time in Narita to work on his stamina before moving back into the gym to work on a game plan and his boxing. The stamina work was a deliberately selected training camp as Murata's stamina did come under questioning following his most recent win, a 10 round decision victory over Adrian Luna Flores.
Currently ranked in the top 10 by the WBC some suspect this could be Murata's final bout before fighting world ranked contenders. Anything but an an impressive performance against Nicklow may slow down his plans so we're expecting to see Murata at his best coming in to this bout.