WBA “world” middleweight champion Ryota Murata is rumored to have his next fight in the works, as his opponent would be Italy’s Emanuele Blandamura, the most recent European middleweight champion who recently vacated his belt and canceled a mandatory defense.
Murata (13-1, 10 KO) won the belt from Hassan N’dam in October, stopping the veteran N’dam after seven rounds. That fight came five months after their first meeting, which N’dam very controversially won by decision, resulting in the WBA suspending two judges for six months, and ordering the immediate rematch. It may have been the biggest robbery of 2017.
If Blandamura (27-2, 5 KO) is the first title defense for Murata, it’s not exactly the most inspired choice. The 38-year-old Italian has stepped up twice, and was knocked out both times, by Billy Joe Saunders in 2014 and Michel Soro in 2015, both fights for the vacant European title.
He finally won the EBU belt in 2016, beating Matteo Signani by split decision. He defended it once, against Alessandro Goddi in June 2017.