The world title rematch between World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam (36-2, 21 KOs), of France, and No. 1 contender Ry?ta Murata (12-1, 9 KOs), of Japan, will be televised live to the U.S. from Tokyo, on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Sunday, October 22, at 7:00 a.m. ET.
In their previous battle, which took place on May 20, also in Tokyo, N’Dam claimed the vacant world title via a controversial split decision despite getting knocked down in the fourth round and being out-boxed throughout the fight. The decision was considered questionable, leading the WBA to suspend the two judges -- Gustavo Padilla of Panama and Canada’s Hubert Earle, who handed in the scorecards – for six months. The WBA also ordered an immediate rematch.
Murata captured the Olympic gold medal in the middleweight division at the 2012 Olympics held in London. It was the first gold medal won by a Japanese boxer since Takao Sakurai in 1964, and also is the first-ever boxing medal in a weight class other than bantamweight or flyweight. Murata also became the 100th gold medalist in Japanese Olympic history. Five of Murata’s last six victories have come by way of knockout.
IN OTHER NEWS - Former professional boxer, Frank Bruno MBE has backed Time to Change’s In Your Corner campaign. Frank, who has bipolar disorder, will be launching his book ‘Let Me Be Frank’ later this month. He said: “I’m backing the In Your Corner campaign because too many people are suffering in silence. This has to change. I know from my own experience that mental illness can ruin lives. It almost destroyed mine.
“Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time so if you think your mate’s on the ropes, step in and be the corner man they need. Take it from me, it can make all the difference.”
Faris Khalifa (29) from Liverpool has depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. He said: “It can take a lot for someone to open up about their mental health, especially because it’s still a taboo topic. When a friend reaches out and asks you how you’re really doing – it can be a huge relief. My biggest piece of advice? Look out for those subtle changes in behaviour and be proactive about stepping in before the situation gets more serious.
“My mate Nick has always been the same and never makes me feel like I’m less for having feelings. Friends like Nick made me realise that relationships aren't just forged for the good times, but the bad times too. Real friends stick around for both. People who have seen you at your worst and chose to be there for you are people you should never let go of.”
Sue Baker OBE, Director of Time to Change, said: “It’s encouraging to see that most men do feel comfortable supporting a friend with a mental health problem. We know that men want to be there for each other but when it comes to mental health, many are still wary of acting on their concerns. This is why is great to have heroes like Frank throwing their weight behind our campaign to improve attitudes towards mental health. We need men to see that looking out for each other’s mental health is part of being a good mate. Doing this would mean fewer men facing mental health problems alone, sometimes with devastating consequences. That’s why we have launched our In Your Corner campaign - if a friend’s acting differently, step in, find out why and be there to support.”
Time to Change launched ‘In Your Corner’ in February to encourage men to be more open and supportive of friends, family and colleagues with a mental health problem. The campaign will run for five years but in the first month alone 18.5 million people had seen the launch film. 1 in 3 men who saw the campaign film either did something to help a mate or said they were planning to.
As well as taking steps to be there for a friend, everyone is being encouraged to share the new film. To find out more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit: www.time-to-change.org.uk/inyourcorner