Ryota Murata makes successful U.S. debut
Japanese middleweight and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata (8-0, 5 knockouts) made his debut on American soil a successful one by taking a unanimous decision over Gunnar Jackson (21-7-3) in 10-round middleweight action. The bout took place on Saturday on the Tim Bradley-Brandon Rios undercard.
Jackson tried his best to rattle the Olympian by going on the offensive early but Murat’s tight guard refused to open any holes for Jackson’s punches to get through. By the second frame, Murata was making deposits to the body that would eventually pay off with interest as the fight progressed. Jackson did have his moments and landed several hard punches in the third but nothing substantial enough to take Murata out of his game. Murata’s jab was too stuff and digs to the body took their toll on Jackson as the Japanese fighter simply outworked his foe to the final bell. Scores were 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91.
In an entertaining featherweight bout that was more competitive than the scorecards suggested, Miguel Marriaga (21-1, 18 knockouts) took home a unanimous decision over Guillermo Avila (14-5). There was some great action despite Marriaga winning each round. All three judges scored it 80-72.
Junior welterweight prospect Mike Reed (17-0, 10 knockouts) eventually got his man as he earned a seventh-round TKO over Rondale Hubbert (10-4-1) in a scheduled 8-rounder. Hubbert did his best to see the final bell but ate a vicious right hand that sent him to the canvas. He would rise but Reed forced the stoppage with a left hand at the 1:09 mark.
In the opening bout, Egidijus Kavaliauskas (10-0, 8 knockouts) remained undefeated with a crushing knockout of Jake Giuriceo (17-5-1) in welterweight action. A right hand ended Giuriceo’s night before he could get anything going.