Earlier today in Tokyo, Japan local hero Ryota Murata stopped Hassan N’Dam to take the WBA middleweight title and also avenge an earlier, controversial loss to the man from France. Murata, in total control of the fight, forced N’Dam to remain on his stool after seven completed rounds.
Now 13-1(10) the 31 year old from Tokyo has arrived as a major player in the 160 pound weight class. 33 year old N’Dam, who was never in the fight, falls to 36-3(21).
Murata, a good combination puncher who captured a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic games, dominated the more experienced champion, hitting him with a variety of hard shots. Hurt and overwhelmed in the seventh, N’Dam wanted no more and opted to remain on his stool, giving up his title.
Back in May of this year in a fight that also took place in Tokyo, N’Dam won a hugely controversial split decision. Despite being knocked down several times, N’Dam was awarded the decision victory – with WBA president Gilberto Mendoza later actually apologising for the decision and ordering today’s return bout. Mendoza also suspended two of the judges who scored the May fight; for awarding the win to N’Dam as they did.
Today a right was wronged and a new star of the middleweight division may have been crowned. With just 14 pro fights under his belt, Ryota is another addition to the growing number of fighters who, despite having had a veritable handful of fights, have become world champions. It will be interesting to see who Murata fights in his first title defence.
The Japanese warrior has fought in the US before and maybe he will look to do so again. It would certainly be interesting and possibly exciting to see Murata in there with the likes of Danny Jacobs (or Luis Arias if “Cuba” upsets Jacobs next month) and/or the winner of the upcoming Billy Joe Saunders-David Lemieux showdown.
As for N’Dam, he’s had an eventful, up and down career but he may find it tough bouncing back from today’s crushing defeat.