By Steve Kim
Ryota Murata, who holds the WBA 'regular' middleweight title is scheduled to face Emanuele Felice Blandamura in Yokohama, Japan on April 15th. And this bout - like his title winning effort versus Hassan N'Dam - will be broadcast in America on ESPN2.
Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, confirmed that to BoxingScene.com on Tuesday morning - "It will be in the morning, that Sunday morning like the last one."
He mentioned that a fight featuring featherweight Genesis Servania - who went the distance with WBO featherweight titlist, Oscar Valdez, in September and was recently signed by Top Rank - could also be on this broadcast.
"We're going to do a lot of international fights this year," noted Arum, who's company made a deal with ESPN to televise boxing on their wide array of platforms.
Should Murata come out victorious, Arum says - ''the idea is that if Murata wins, he's coming over here in July to fight (Esquiva) Falcao."
In the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Murata defeated Falcao in the gold medal match.
In the first bout with N'dam, Murata lost a controversial split decision (116-111, 115-112, 110-117). N'Dam was knocked down in round 4 but survived and got the decision. The two judges who scored the fight for N'Dam were immediately suspended and WBA president Gilberto Mendoza issued a public apology. A rematch was immediately ordered by the WBA, and scheduled for 22 October.
And in the rematch, Murata decisively beat N'Dam, who more or less quit after round 7. Murata's body attack wore his opponent down, he was also able to hurt him with a series of combinations. The fight was attended by 8,500 people at the Ry?goku Kokugikan. This was N'Dam's first stoppage loss in a pro fight.
With the win, Murata became the first Olympic medalist from Japan to win a world title, as well as the first Japanese middleweight world champion since Shinji Takehara.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.