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Ryota Murata officially promoted to WBA ‘super’ middleweight champion

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Mruata previously held the “world” title, while Chris Eubank still holds the interim belt.

Rob Brant v Ryota Murata - WBA Middleweight Title Bout Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

With former “super” champ Canelo Alvarez’s exit last week, the WBA has performed the surprisingly not-cretinous move of promoting “world” champion Ryota Murata to fill his spot.

Murata’s appointment will not generate too many changes in the rankings and it is done to give dynamism and activity to the division. The only relevant change is that Murata’s 9-month mandatory defense period will be extended to 18 months.

While this raises the profile of and theoretically opens more opportunities for the 34-year-old Murata (16-2, 13 KO), who’s demolished Rob Brant and Steven Butler since initially losing the belt to Brant in one of 2018’s bigger upsets, he suffers from Terence Crawford’s issue of being the lone Top Rank standout in his division. His fellow champions are aligned with either Matchroom/DAZN (IBF champ Gennadiy Golovkin and WBO champ Demetrius Andrade) or PBC (WBC champ Jermall Charlo)

As far as those whom the WBA could order him to fight, his contender list is pretty dire.

1. Chris Eubank Jr. (i.c.)
2. Magomed Madiev
3. Carlos Lindsey Monroe
4. Mikalai Vesialou
5. Sergio Martinez
6. Jaime Munguia
7. David Papot
8. Michael Zerafa
9. Anatoli Muratov
10. Alfonso Blanco
11. Ronald Ellis
12. Jose Armando Rosendiz
13. Carlos Gongora
14. Amilcar Vidal
15. Zhanibek Alimkhanuly

That’s a whole lot of nothing with a few sprinkles of Matchroom mixed in. The best Top Rank representative on this list is Alimkhanuly, who’s probably at least a year away from a title shot. Let’s hope they order Murata-Eubank, at least.