WBA “world” middleweight titleholder Ryota Murata will face mandatory challenger Rob Brant on October 20, headlining an ESPN+ card from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Dan Rafael reports that a deal was worked out after Murata (14-1, 11 KO) and his team initially didn’t participate in the purse bid, which was won by Brant’s promoter Greg Cohen. Brant (23-1, 16 KO) is due 50% of the money, which is not normal for a purse bid, but that’s the deal here.
But with Murata not wanting to vacate, the deal was made between Bob Arum and Cohen, and the fight is set.
Murata, 32, won the title last year from Hassan N’dam in a rematch after he was flat-out robbed against N’dam in their first bout. He made a successful title defense in April, beating Emanuele Blandamura handily.
Brant, 27, was emerging as a young fighter to watch at 160 before taking the risk and moving up to 168 for the World Boxing Super Series, where he was bounced in the opening round by Juergen Braehmer. He went back to middleweight for a win over club fighter Colby Courter in March.