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Ryota Murata, Gold Medal Winner, Considers Pro Run

Ryota Murata seems ready to finally cash in on his Olympic gold medal.

Murata, who became Japan's first Olympic boxing champion in 48 years at the London Games last summer, is considering turning pro, it was learned Saturday.

Murata, 27, confirmed that he met with Japan Amateur Boxing Federation chairman Akira Yamane on Jan. 14 to discuss the move.

"Honestly speaking, the [pro] world is appealing," Murata said. "But I have a family and there are several conditions that have to be cleared."

The renowned Tokyo-based Misako Gym, which has produced three world champions including Koichi Wajima, has made moves to land Murata, who won the middleweight (75-kilogram) gold in London.

If Murata joins the Misako Gym, he would be following in the footsteps of the late Takao Sakurai--the last Japanese to win an Olympic title before him. Sakurai turned pro after capturing the bantamweight gold at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

After winning in London, Murata showed little desire of joining the pro ranks, saying the chances were "99.5 percent against."

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Hougigo on 02-03-2013

If his heart's not in it, don't do it

Comment by Light_Speed on 02-03-2013

He should follow his heart, not succumb to media pressure.

Comment by cool-jupiter on 02-03-2013

Murata should stay away from pro boxing. He has his lovely family and a stable job in college. His legacy is already complete. Better not turn pro so that he can avoid any possible unnecessary punishment.

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