WHO knows what would have happened had they fought anywhere else, but Tokyo’s Ryota Murata showed that venues can make a big difference. Having dropped his WBA middleweight title to Rob Brant in Las Vegas last October, Murata, a mainstream star in Japan, reclaimed his crown on home turf in the most devastating performance of his career.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist was so overpowering in halting Brant, 28, at 2-34 of the second round that when we look back on his career we might conclude that he never lost the title in the first place, but had merely loaned it out.
The only question that remained is why, given Murata’s popularity, was the match held in the Edion Arena (Teiken Promotions) with a seating capacity of only approximately 6,500? But millions watched on television and doubtless came away wondering how Murata could have lost to Dallas’ Brant in the first place.