Earlier today we saw 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] record a small moment of history, as he became the first Japanese fighter to have won both an Olympic gold medal and a professional world title. He achieved that today in Tokyo as he stopped Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (36-3, 21) to claim the WBA Middleweight title, and avenge his sole professional defeat.
Following the bout Maruta took part in a press conference and his future plans were revealed at that conference.
The new champion plans to make his first defense in Spring 2018, in Japan. No opponent was named as being the target for Murata's first defense, but it does leave us knowing the time frame for his return and the location.
The plan is that if Murata is successful in his first defense he will then fight in the US, in his second defense, though no time frame has been mentioned for that bout.
Murata stated that he's wanting to face another world champion in 2018 and it seems clear that his intention is to prove himself as one of the top Middleweights on the planet, and to battle other top fighters at 160lbs. Hopefully will see that happen sooner rather than later.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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