Ryota Murata Upsets Brant in Rematch, Regains WBA Middleweight Title in Osaka
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
*Photo Credit: Mikey Williams, Top Rank
Osaka, Japan (July 13th, 2019)– A rematch is an unlikely scenario to regain a world title in boxing, and usually serves as a miserable excuse to sell tickets. Floyd Patterson proved the critics wrong when he rematched Ingemar Johannson, and regained the World Heavyweight title in 1960. In reflection, it also seemed like like a mismatch when Rob Brant defended his World Boxing Association World Middleweight title against Ryota Murata in Osaka, Japan, on Friday, July 12, 2019. History tells Brant lost a 12 round decision to the durable champion Juergen Braemer in Germany in 2017, Brant’s only excursion outside of the United States.
Still, Brant, now 25-2 with 17 knockouts, did not see the end coming against Murata, 15-2 with 12 knockouts, Tokyo, Japan, the 2012 Olympic Games Gold Medalist in London, Great Britain. Brant’s rematch against Murata looked like a steroid version replay of Nobuhiro Ishira versus James Kirkland in accelerated motion. Brant, like Anthony Joshua did against Andy Ruiz Jr., stood in front of Murata and traded power shot bombs without moving, and without respect. This time, though, Murata mixed pinpoint power shots to the head and body beautifully, and Brant kept getting backed up into oblivion, paying a price. The world-class tempo of the bout was super speed.
Murata was super accurate. Brant was not slipping punches, and was not holding. Brant went down in the second round, and when he immediately got up unscathed, the wakeup call should have been Brant’s cue to run like hell and clean his head until he could come up with an alternate game plan. Instead, Brant headed straight back into the hellfire of furious exchange, and the pumped up version of Murata kept firing. It should be noted Murata has knocked out nine opponents in his native Japan, while two others he defeated by 10 round decision, winning every round on four of the six scorecards. In other words, Murata does well in front of his hometown crowds. Two fighters fought only for survival and survived. Brant would allow himself no leeway for survival mode. Save the late Jimmy Young and the Muhammad Ali, no fighter who traded bombs with George Foreman version one survived. Brant allowed his rematch with Murata to degrade into a ‘I will stand in front of you’ slugfest of power shot exchange, and eventually got turned around and staggered off the ropes out on his feet. When Brant returns, his game plan needs reevaluation.
Result: Ryota Murata TKO 2 Rob Brant, Middleweights (2:34) Referee: Luis Pabon
Murata regains World Boxing Association World Middleweight title.
Brant was down in the second round. WBA Supervisor: Gilberto Jesus Mendoza