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Ryota Murata vs Steven Butler winner would have to face Rob Brant

Brant had exercised his rematch clause with Murata but is willing to step aside.

Ryota Murata v Rob Brant Getty

With Ryota Murata and Steven Butler working on a deal to meet in December for Murata’s WBA secondary “world” middleweight title, ESPN reports that Rob Brant is willing to step aside for that fight if he’s guaranteed a matchup with the victory.

Brant (25-2, 17 KO) beat Murata (15-2, 12 KO) in a pretty sizable upset last year in Las Vegas, then went to Japan for a rematch in July. Murata trucked him in the second meeting, stopping Brant in the second round in Osaka.

Brant, 29, exercised his rematch clause, and is planning an interim bout in January. He’ll be working with new trainer Brian McIntyre for that fight.

Butler (28-1-1, 24 KO) is a 24-year-old Canadian who recently received an order to face WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade, but he’s intending to pass on that because the offer to face Murata is better. He last fought on Sept. 26, knocking out journeyman Paul Valenzuela Jr in the first round, four months after struggling to a split decision win over Vitalii Kopylenko.