Ryota Murata officially announces his retirement at a ceremony in Tokyo
On Tuesday, hugely popular former WBA middleweight titlist Ryota Murata officially announced his retirement at a ceremony in Tokyo, Japan.
Murata, now 37, first gained attention for winning silver at the 2011 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan before capturing gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Murata left the amateur scene with a highly respectable record of 119-19 and turned professional under the Teiken Promotions banner in August 2013.
From the beginning, he was matched tough due to his amateur pedigree and moved quickly. The Japanese star was also co-promoted by Top Rank and made his American debut in his eighth fight on the undercard of Tim Bradley-Brandon Rios. He continued to build his brand fighting in America as well as different parts of Asia.
Murata met the experienced Hassan N’dam N’Jikam for the vacant WBA 160-pound title in May 2017. Although N’Jikam was on the floor in Round 4, he recovered to win a controversial 12-round split decision. The WBA ordered a rematch and five months later Murata forced his French opponent to retire after seven-rounds.
The newly minted titleholder made one defense against Emanuele Blandamura (TKO 8) before surprisingly dropping a decision to Rob Brant (UD 12) in Las Vegas. The two met in a rematch in Japan and Murata left no doubt as to who was the better man, stopping the American in two-rounds in July 2019.
Later that year, on the much-celebrated New Years Eve show in Japan, Murata stopped Steven Butler in five-rounds to retain his title.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant Murata didn’t fight for two-years. When he did return, he met IBF titlist Gennadiy Golovkin in a unifcation in April 2022. Although Murata lost, he put up a good effort before he was stopped in a high contact fight in nine-rounds.
Murata, who retires with a mark of 16-3, 13 knockouts, enjoyed a successful amateur and professional career and will be fondly remembered by his people.
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