When we talk about the best fighters to never win a world title we see a lot of names thrown out there. For Japanese boxing it's fair to say that Eijiro Murata was probably the best from the country to never win a belt at the top level. The talented Bantamweight went 24-2-3 (15) during his career which ran from 1976 to 1983 and fought for world titles 4 times, he was a long term Oriental champion and an excellent talent who was unfortunate to come through in a time period before the WBO and IBF.
Despite his failure to win a world title Murata is still a notable figure in Japanese boxing history and someone everyone should know more about. With that in mind, here are 10 facts you probably didn't know about... Eijiro Murata!
1-Murata fought out of the Kaneko boxing gym, both as an amateur and as a professional. As a professional he we the gym's third overall champion and their first OPBF champion, following in the footsteps of two national champions.
2-As an amateur Murata ran up a very impressive 78-10 (43) record. One of those 10 losses came to the excellent Hitoshi Ishigaki in the All Japanese championships, which ended up preventing Murata from going to the Olympics.
3-As a professional Murata fought only 2 bouts scheduled for less than 10 rounds. He had his debut, over 6 rounds, his second bout, over 8 rounds, 10 bouts scheduled for 10 rounds, 13 bouts scheduled for 12 rounds and 4 bouts scheduled for 15 rounds.
4-In just his third professional Murata beat the then Japanese Bantamweight champion Hisami Numata in 8 rounds. That was however in a non-title bout, fought above the Bantamweight limit. Notably Numata was just a year removed from a close loss in a world title bout against the then WBC Bantamweight champion Rodolfo Martinez.
5-After winning the OPBF Bantamweight title in December 1978 Murata made 12 defenses before vacating the title around 5 years later. Those 12 defenses still stand as record for the title, with no one else having double digit defenses of the belt.
6-Murata took part in his retirement ceremony in March 1984, in a show that was part of the "Guts Fighting" series.
7-In 1989 Murata began to guide Hiroki Ioka, helping Ioka rebound following his loss to Napa Kiatwanchai.
8-After retiring from his in ring Murata became the chairman of the Eddie Townsend Gym, and trained Noriyuki Komatsu to the OPBF Flyweight title.
9-Although Murata failed in his 4 world title shots at Bantamweight he was from the same prefecture, Shiga, as Shinsuke Yamanaka who famously went on to have a long and successful reign with the WBC Bantamweight title, a belt that Murata challenged Lupe Pintor for in 1981.
10-Eiijiro's older brother Katsumi Murata was part of Japanese band "High Society", as the band's drummer. Katsumi would later leave the band, in 1973, to form "Super Ages", before forming "Question" and later "Katsumi Murata and High Questions"
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).