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 Pacquiao: Right Now, I Have No Intention Of Running For President Sanchez: They Are All Using Golovkin's Name To Stay Relevant! Joseph Parker on Dealing With Adversity Versus Dillian Whyte Frank Warren: I've Never Seen Tyson Fury This Determined Tommy Coyle: I Fight Because I Love it, But It's a Dangerous Game Sergio Martinez Still Aims To Return, Continues To Train Hard UK News: Brian Rose, Troy Williamson, Tyrone McKenna, More Pacquiao is Focused: We Can't Underestimate Adrien Broner Jarrell Miller Wants Anthony Joshua in April at Wembley Giving Thanks For a Boxing Dream Come True Pacquiao: I Think Fans Are Excited For Rematch With Mayweather Adonis Stevenson Hopes Pascal Wins, Not Impressed By Bivol David Lemieux: I Want Canelo Because I Know I Can Beat Him! Ellerbe: Broner Will Look To Defy The Odds, Shut Everyone Up Vijender Singh Inks Promotional Pact With Top Rank News: Christopher Diaz, Bryant Perrella, Tori Nelson, Luis Lebron Hearn: Hooker is The Standout at 140, I Want Defense in Dallas Broner: F*** The Money, I'm Not Just Coming To Get a Check Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Face To Face in NYC Broner: Pacquiao Ain't Fighting Floyd, I'm Gonna Beat His Ass! Photos: Canelo Grinding Hard For Rocky Fielding Title Clash Pacquiao Confirms He'll Work With Roach Again For Broner Bout Pacquiao Warns Broner: I've Learned To 'Problem Solve' in Politics Canelo on GGG Win: Nicest Feeling To Shut Mouths With Facts! Claressa Shields vs. Femke Hermans Set, December 8 on HBO Ganigan Lopez Tops Telemundo Card in Mexico City Yves Ngabu vs. Micki Nielsen Finalized For February 16, Belgium Nathan Gorman vs. Alex Leapai Set For Warrington-Frampton LIVE STREAM: Pacquiao vs. Broner - NYC Press Conference Bivol: Alvarez KO Of Kovalev Surprised Me, Favor Him In Rematch Ugas Confident of Winning WBC Belt - Surprising Porter, Critics Hurd: I Would Beat Both Charlos, Canelo and Golovkin! Joseph Parker: After Flores, Hopefully I'll Be Fighting in The UK BoxingScene.com's Television Pick of The Week - Nov. 19 Photos: Manny Pacquiao Hits New York For Broner Presser Kieran Smith Ready For Step Up in Class With Peter McDonagh WBC Prez: I Hope Golovkin vs. Charlo Eliminator Will Happen Frampton: Warrington is Made For Me - I'll Prove I'm Better Canelo Says His Coach Felt Fielding Was Perfect Foe at 168 Juan Francisco Estrada Year-End Ring Return Ruled Out
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement