So much for Gennady Golovkin in 2019.
The plans of Ryota Murata and Top Rank were laid to waste on Saturday night in Las Vegas, as underdog challenger Rob Brant dominated Murata en route to a decision win, claiming the WBA’s secondary “world” middleweight title, and shutting down the hopes of Murata to face Golovkin in Japan next spring.
Brant (24-1, 16 KO) put in a career performance, scoring the win on cards of 118-110, 119-109, and 119-109. Murata suffers the first legitimate loss of his pro career, dropping to 14-2 (11 KO).
Brant threw over 1,200 punches to get the decision, wearing Murata out and wearing him down over the course of the fight. We’ll have to see where he goes next, but the Greg Cohen-promoted Minnesotan may himself be an attractive option for GGG now, coming off of a huge win. His only loss came in a bold move to 168, against Juergen Braehmer, and Brant said he’d learned from that defeat. It sure looks like it.
In the co-feature, junior welterweight prospect Maxim Dadashev improved to 12-0 (10 KO) with a 10-round decision win over former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco (33-7-1, 24 KO). Scores were 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92.