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Ryota Murata Says His Boxing Career is Over

Ten months after his loss to Gennadiy Golovkin, former WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata announces that he has no plans to fight again.

Ryota Murata faces Gennadiy Golovkin in a middleweight title unification fight on April 9, 2022, at Saitama Super Arena. (ⒸSANKEI)

Former WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata told reporters on Wednesday, February 22 that he has thrown his final punch as a professional boxer.

In Murata's last bout, held on April 9, 2022, Kazakh opponent Gennadiy Golovkin, the IBF champion, earned a ninth-round technical knockout at Saitama Super Arena. With the win, Golovkin seized Murata's WBA title belt.

The 37-year-old Murata revealed that in his mind he has retired.

"Inside my head I'm thinking, 'that was my last [fight],' " Murata was quoted as saying by Kyodo News. "I just haven't been able to announce it [until now], but that's how I'm thinking personally."

The fight was selected by boxing journalists as the Bout of the Year for the annual awards ceremony organized by the Japan Boxing Commission. The ceremony, where Murata made his comments on Wednesday, was held at a Tokyo hotel.

Murata (16-3, 13 knockouts) hasn't trained since the fight, Boxing News reported.

In that fight, Murata earned the respect of his superstar opponent.

"Murata is a true warrior who fought to the very end," Golovkin said after the fight. "He is an Olympic champion, a middleweight champion, and despite what took place in front of his fans, we are extremely happy to have organized this event in Japan."


Murata Ended Japan's Olympic Boxing Title Drought

In 2012, Murata became the first Japanese boxer to win an Olympic gold medal in 48 years, outpointing Brazil's Esquiva Falcaao in the middleweight final at the London Games. Takao Sakurai claimed the bantamweight gold at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Murata turned pro in 2013.

Unbeaten in his first 12 pro fights, Murata squared off against Hassan N'Dam, a French Cameroonian boxer, for the vacant WBA middleweight title, on May 27, 2017, at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo. Murata lost the 12-round match by split decision.

In their rematch on October 22, 2017, at Ryogoku Kokugikan in the Japanese capital, Murata won by a seventh-round TKO. (N'Dam's corner threw in the towel after the round.)

Murata appeared in five more fights after that one, all of which had the WBA title on the line. He defended his title via an eighth-round stoppage victory on April 15, 2018, against Italian Emanuel Blandamura in Yokohama.

American Rob Brant defeated Murata by unanimous decision on October 20, 2018, in Las Vegas to wrest the title from Murata.

Murata avenged the loss with a second-round TKO of Brant to regain the WBA title in Osaka on July 12, 2019.

Then, on December 23 that year, Murata made his last successful title defense, putting an end to Canadian Steven Butler's title aspirations with a fifth-round TKO win in Yokohama.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven.


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