Top Rank signs Ryota Murata and Sean Monaghan

Al Bello

Top Rank has signed a pair of new prospects in 2012 gold medalist Ryota Murata and New York-based Sean Monaghan.

Two new prospects have joined the Top Rank stable, as the American promotional giant has finalized deals with Japan's 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata and New York light heavyweight Sean Monaghan.

Murata, 27, became the first Japanese boxing medalist for Japan since 1968 in London, when he took middleweight gold. He showed a pro-ready style and approach, and with Top Rank looking to expand their business in Asia, notably in Macau for the time being, Murata should fit nicely. Japanese promotional powerhouse Teiken Boxing will co-promote the fighter, who will make his pro debut sometime in August, in Japan.

Monaghan, 31, is a little long in the tooth for a serious prospect, but being real about this, he's been signed more for his ability to bring in fans than his chances of becoming a world champion. Monaghan (18-0, 11 KO) is a legitimate NYC draw, and that will always give a fighter a leg up. To put it into perspective, he's more likely to become a real contender than Mike Lee, but they are with Top Rank for similar reasons. Monaghan could be the new John Duddy.

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