After a controversial loss in his first world title shot in May, Ryota Murata has publicly adopted an “it-happens-when-it-happens” attitude about his potential rematch against the same opponent.
Now, it will happen. He has earned another shot, perhaps quicker than many thought.
Olympic gold medalist Murata (12-1, nine KOs) will take on WBA middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Oct. 22, organizers announced Thursday.
“I appreciate that N’Dam has accepted another fight with me,” said Murata, who lost to the Cameroonian-Frenchman in a split decision, although the Japanese seemed to have gotten the better of the fight at Ariake Colosseum on May 20 for a then-vacant WBA middleweight crown against N’Dam.
“Though it was kind of an adventure for me to debut (as a professional boxer), afterward I faced fighters that I was expected to beat if I performed to my full ability. But in my last fight, I fought against a very competitive boxer in N’Dam, and he raised me to another level, taking me to who I am today. With that said, I think that he’s going to get me to an even higher place through our next fight.”
The 31-year-old did not protest the decision in the N’Dam bout, saying that it was out of his control. He even visited N’Dam on the day after the fight to thank him for having flown all the way to Japan from Europe.
Murata admitted the he and N’Dam have built up a friendship since, but emphasized that he would not hesitate “to exchange blows” with him once they step into the ring in October.
Meanwhile, N’Dam (36-2, 21 KOs), who jokingly noted that Japan is “like his home” now, said that he thought Murata was a tougher boxer than he had thought he would be in their first meeting, and that the rematch would be another hard-fought battle.