Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Photos: Ryota Murata, Emanuele Blandamura - Go Face To Face

WBA "regular" middleweight world champion Ryota Murata will have his first title defense against a fighter who people might think is a cushy opponent. (photos by Naoki Fukada).

murata-blandamura (3)

But the Japanese boxer is keen to emphasize that there are no easy fights.

The 32-year-old Murata, who captured the belt in a rematch with Hassan N’Dam last October, will take on Italy’s Emanuele Blandamura at Yokohama Arena on April 15, organizers announced Monday.

murata-blandamura (2)

Blandamura is a 38-year-old veteran who has gone 27-2 in his professional career. But his next fight, against the London Olympics gold medalist, is his first world title shot.

“I’ve competed in boxing for 20 years. But today’s a special day for me. It’s not even an overstatement to say this is the best day of my life,” said Blandamura, who flew all the way from his country to attend the news conference in Tokyo. “I have the utmost respect for Murata. It will be a career-defining fight for me.”

murata-blandamura (4)

The Udine native got off to a 22-bout winning streak to start his professional career, which began in 2007. That record came to an end when he fell to eventual WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in an eighth-round technical knockout in 2014.

murata-blandamura (5)

Blandamura, who defended his European Boxing Union middleweight title last June before he subsequently relinquished it, is placed seventh in both the WBC and IBF rankings, while he is ranked 10th for the WBA.

murata-blandamura (6)

Compared to Murata, who has stood on top of the world both in amateur and professional competitions, Blandamura is a no-name presence.

But Murata knows that first title defenses are difficult for any boxer, and that he will be under more pressure than Blandamura because everybody thinks he will have no problem defeating him.

murata-blandamura (1)

Some even consider this to be a stepping-stone for Murata, who is promoted by Teiken Promotions and Top Rank, to have bigger matches against notable fighters going forward.

murata-blandamura (8)

“‘This has to be a fight that will take me to the next level’ — I want people to stop saying things like that,” Murata (13-1, 10 KOs) said with a smile. “It would great if it works out that way, but unless I win this one, there’s no next one. So I will focus on pouring all my energy into this one.”

Murata, meanwhile, cautions that Blandamura achieved plenty in his amateur career (33-8-3), and that such boxers might not have deadly punches but often have the skills to score points.

murata-blandamura (7)

“Sometimes it’s tough to take on an opponent like that,” Murata said, when asked about the Italian having had only five KOs in his pro career. “He’s kept winning with few KOs. That means he knows how to fight for 10 rounds, 12 rounds.”

Teiken Promotions President Tsuyoshi Hamada said that it would be important for Murata to be the last man standing and it does not matter how he beats Blandamura.

Murata is the second Japanese to hold a world middleweight title (after former WBA champ Shinji Takehara). But he would be the first to defend his belt.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by sammybee on 01-23-2018

Murata will eat Blandamura up like a pizza.

Comment by Tatabanya on 01-22-2018

More than a stepping stone, Blandamura will be a doormat for Murata.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines De La Hoya Smiles at Golovkin: Good Luck With Derevyanchenko! Photos: Ancajas vs. Sultan, Yafai vs. Carmona - Ready For War Artur Szpilka Drops, Dominates Dominick Guinn Over Ten Rounds Miguel Cotto Helping Polish The Skills of Angel Acosta Izu Ugonoh Returns, Stops Fred Kassi in Three Rounds Photos: David Lemieux Looks Depleted at Weigh-In For Achour Mazion vs. Pauldo - Golden Boy on ESPN Co-Main Set, June 8 Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter Deal Reached For WBC Title Berchelt vs. Barros Finalized For Merida, To Be Carried By ESPN+ David Lemieux Fails To Make Weight, Move To 168 is Eyed Luis Nery: I'll Prove I'm The Best at 118, I Want My Title Back Joshua, Hearn Stand Firm: Wilder Fight Must Be in The UK News: Tyson Fury's Return, Bare Knuckle Boxing, James Beech Epic Sports CEO on Securing Whyte-Pulev, Signing Fighters, More Inoue Confirms He’ll Compete in WBSS Bantamweight Tournament Brendan Ingle, Dean Francis Pass Away: Boxing World Mourns Tony Bellew "100%" Interested In Fighting Oleksandr Usyk Inoue Blows Out McDonnell in 1st Round to Win Bantamweight Title Trout: I'm Going To Derail Charlo-Hurd, Get Rematch With Hurd! Shiro Knocks Out Lopez With Body Shot in 2nd Round of Rematch Warren: Tyson Fury Will Avoid Comeback Mistakes of Haye Kal Yafai is Keen To Make a Statement in American Debut Frank Bruno Backing Dan Azeez To Go Far in Boxing Haye: Joe Joyce Would Take Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte Apart Demecillo Knocks Out Moya, Wenceslao Destroys Tinampay Wilder: Trump is Huge Boxing Fan, Wants a KO in My Next Fight Warrington: I Was Doubted at Every Level, Now I'm Champion Regis Prograis: I Knew Jose Ramirez Wasn't Going to Fight Me Buboy Denies Chatter That Pacquiao is Burning Out in Camp Omar Chavez Targets Hector Camacho Jr. For August Clash De La Hoya: Golovkin is Afraid of Canelo - We're Moving On! Photos: Ancajas vs. Sultan, Yafai vs. Carmona - Final Presser Joseph Diaz Will Return Even Stronger, Says Manager Denis Shafikov vs. Hector Suarez Tops Hollywood Fight Nights Roman Gonzalez Eyes United States Return in September Whyte-Pulev: Surprise Bidder Beats Hearn, Sauerland For Rights Photos: Wilder, Sulaiman, Lewis, Stallone Hit The White House Jeff Horn Involved in Car Accident, No Injuries Suffered Donald Trump Issues Rare Posthumous Pardon To Jack Johnson Jermall Charlo: Me & My Brother Open to Hearing Hearn's Offers
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement