Back in October we saw Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] claim the WBA Middleweight title, as he stopped Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (36-3, 21) and avenged his sole professional loss. Since then he has out of the gym and enjoying a short break from boxing, the break however came to an end today as he returned to the Teiken gym and took part in a public work out for the Japanese press.
The work out was a pretty basic one, with the hugely popular Middleweight not pushing his body too hard given the break from the gym, but it's clear he has big plans ahead and the press had the chance to ask the fighter and his team some questions about the future.
Among the details that Murata and his team shared to the press was their plan to have the champion make his first defence around April, in Japan. No opponent for that bout was named, but there has been rumours swirling that they are targetting unbeaten Brazilian Esquiva Falcao (19-0, 13) for a bout at some point in 2018 and he could well be a possible opponent for April.
A bout with Falcao would see the two men resume a rivalry from the amateurs, with Murata having beaten Falcao at both the 2011 World Amateur championships and the 2012 Olympic games, and would be an easy match up to make given both are promoted by American Bob Arum.
Longer term the plan seems to be then focusing on a US return, and the pursuit of big name bouts against the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, both of whom appear to be on Murata's radar as opponents he wants to face in the near future.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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