By Jake Donovan
It's not often that a fighter entering his second pro contest is scheduled for eight rounds. Ryota Murata used as many rounds as he was allotted to eventually get rid of a pesky opponent.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medalist from Japan scored his second knockout in as many pro fights, dispatching determined American prospect Dave Peterson in eight rounds Friday evening in Tokyo, Japan.
There is a lot to like about Murata, who is what fans of brawlers would describe as "beautifully flawed." Despite a rich amateur pedigree - including the aforementioned Gold medal claimed in the 2012 London Olympics - and having turned pro at age 27, Murata remains a massive work in progress.
For now, his determination and natural strength are enough to get the job done. These were lessons learned by Peterson, though the visiting Minnesota native didn't seem the least bit overwhelmed by his surroundings or his opponent's accomplishments.
Murata was given a stiff challenge in the early rounds, even if he was sweeping all of the frames on the official scorecards. Peterson presented a stiff challenge and a granite chin, though Murata to his credit never expressed a hint of concern.
The brutal ending came midway through the eighth and final round. Murata managed to bloody the nose of Peterson before a volley of power shots left his opponent out on his feet. The referee intervened, but to issue a standing eight count rather than stopping the fight.
It was the right call, as Peterson was given every chance to continue. However, an ensuing flurry was enough to convince the ref that the American challenger was no longer able to defend himself, thus correctly stopping the contest.
Murata advances to 2-0 (2KO). It will be interesting to see how he fits into the global plans of Top Rank, the Nevada-based promotional outfit who signed the 27-year old earlier this year. For now, it will be a lot of fun watching how far his power and determination can take him.
Peterson suffers his second straight loss as he falls to 13-2 (8KO). The bout was his first outside of the United States.
The middleweight bout served as the chief support to the flyweight championship bout between Akira Yaegashi and Edgar Sosa. Both bouts, as well as supporting undercard action, aired via one-hour tape delay on Fuji TV in Japan.
Precocious light flyweight prospect Naoya Inoue continues his impressive blitz up the boxing ladder. The 20-year old dazzled the crowd while overwhelming Filipino prospect Jerson Mancio (18-4-3, 9KO) in five rounds. Inoue scored knockdowns in rounds two and five, the latter followed by a flurry which prompted the stoppage.
The official time was 2:51 of round five.
Inoue cruises to 5-0 (4KO), with all five bouts coming at a level far advanced to most prospects. His pro debut, which came 14 months ago, was scheduled for eight rounds, with tonight's bout scheduled for 12 rounds. All five of his opponents have fought 20 or more bouts prior to facing one of the hottest prospects in the sport.
The non-televised undercard saw Inoue's younger brother also make a splash. Takuma Inoue made his pro debut, scoring a six-round decision over Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-4-3, 3KO). Scores were 59-55 (twice) and 59-56 for the younger Inoue (1-0, 0KO), who turns 18 in three weeks.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Tags: Edgar Sosa , Akira Yaegashi , Ryota Murata