The vast, vast majority of observers felt that Ryota Murata deserved to leave Ariake Colosseum with a world title belt around his waist after his fight with Hassan N’Dam in May. This time around, he didn’t even give the judges the opportunity to screw him over, forcing N’Dam’s corner to halt the fight after seven rounds.
Murata (13-1, 10 KO) wore N’Dam (36-3, 21 KO) down with powerful body shots, winning at least five rounds on each judge’s scorecard. The decisive seventh round saw him lay down a genuine thumping on the exhausted veteran, who is notorious for his mental toughness but, for the first time in his career, simply could not continue.
The fight’s currently up on YouTube here.
Murata’s WBA title may not be the “real” one, but it’s an excellent accomplishment for the former gold medalist, who embraced a beaming Bob Arum with tears in his eyes. Plenty of good matchups for him whether or not he decides to go after “Super” champ Gennady Golovkin.
Fellow titlists Daigo Higa and Kenshiro scored their first title defenses in very different fashions. Higa (14-0, 14 KO) tore up Thomas Masson (17-4-1, 5 KO) over seven rounds, while Kenshiro (11-0, 5 KO) scraped past veteran Pedro Guevara (30-3-1, 17 KO) by majority decision.
After his fight, Higa stated that he wants a unification bout with Kazuto Ioka. Yes, please.