Sadly the Asian Middleweight scene isn't great for developing a fighter and when you consider that Murata beat the best Middleweight in the Orient, Akio Shibata, on his debut there really was very little in terms of regional foes. Following his debut Murata has since faced an American, a Brazilian and a Mexican, stopping all 3 foes and looking more impressive after every fight.
Whilst Murata has been looking sensational at times it's obvious that better opponents will cost more money and, with a huge international fan base, it seems to make more sense for Murata to continue his career in the US instead of Japan.
We've known for a while that Murata's next bout would be in Singapore in the Autumn. After that it seems very likely that Murata will squeeze in one more fight, possibly his last on Japanese soil.
Whilst it's understandable that Japanese fans could feel a bit disappointment by their fighter being taken from them it does seem likely that they will be "compensated" some what. Firstly it sounds like the Japanese bout later this year will come against a world ranked foe, it was originally speculated that Murata's first bout with a world ranked opponent would be in the USA early next year, secondly is seems likely Murata will be brought back to Asia for cards in Macau and thirdly his fights will likely continue to be screened on free to air channels in Japan, likely remaining with Fuji TV.
We've also got to say that at moment this seems to be a case of "Murata might not fight in Japan again", though we'll admit we're hoping that if Murata manages to claim a world title, as many are expecting, he'll be allowed to make at least 1 defence in Japan.
(image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)