On Saturday night in the US American fans had the chance to see Japanese Middleweight hopeful Ryota Murata (8-0, 5) make his US debut as he fought on the under-card of the Timothy Bradley Vs Brandon Rios bout. The fight supposed to be Murata's chance to shine in front of a US audience but instead it turned out to be an uninspired win over an opponent who gutsy but out classed from the first round to the last. Not only was it uninspiring but it was also a bout that got very dull, very quickly, despite being a clear win for Murata.
The Japanese fighter, who won Olympic gold in 2012, was up against the unheralded Gunnar Jackson (22-7-3, 8), a tough fighter from New Zealand. For a showcase fight it wasn't great match making for Murata who made life difficult for himself with the tactics he used.
The tactics Murata used seem to be to stand in front of Jackson and simply out muscle, out work and out-battle Jackson. It was effective for the most part but awfully basic, and not the sort of fight that someone would have expected if they had only known that Murata was an Olympic champion. Sadly whilst the tactics were poor so too was the performance which lacked real fire, the sort of fire that saw him take out Douglas Damiao Ataide back in May.
Although the performance was poor the result was what was needed with Murata taking a clear decision with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93, all of which summed up the one-sided nature of the fight but didn't reflect the disappointment of Murata's performance, which showed he was clearly a long way from fighting for a world title, despite some lofty rankings.
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