It was announced earlier today that Japanese Olympic champion Ryota Murata (5-0, 4) would be returning to the ring for his 6th professional bout on December 30th as he takes on possible his most well known opponent so far, Jessie Nicklow (24-4-3, 8). Nicklow, a 27 year old from Maryland dubbed "The Beast", has gone 5-4-2 in the last 7 years but has mixed in great company with losses against Fernando Guerrero and Jermain Taylor being very notable contests. Sadly for Nicklow however he has found himself on the back of stoppage losses when he has been stepped up and it's likely that Murata's handlers have picked Nicklow as a relatively easy but experience professional.
For Nicklow, a 31 fight veteran, this will be his first fight outside of his native US and will also be a fight he enters know that he could really reinvent his career with a win over Murata, he will however be a huge under-dog against the Japanese fighter who has long been tipped as future world champion.
For Murata , a 28 year old based in Tokyo, this will be his 4th bout this year and his third scheduled for 10 rounds. Last time out he seemed to struggle in the later rounds as Mexico's Adrian Luna Flores took him deep into the bout. He'll be hoping that this isn't a repeat of that and that he can either take Nicklow out early or battle at a good pace for all 10 rounds. It is notable however that Murata has been training in a Narita in a camp based around improving his stamina with Teiken stablemate Jorge Linares (37-3, 24).
As for Linares it was confirmed that he would be fighting Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18) in a WBC Lightweight title bout as we reported yesterday.
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