Top Rank announced Thursday the rematch between middleweights Rob“Bravo” Brant and Ryota Murata. Both faced off against each other last October in Las Vegas which had Brant win in an upset the WBA middleweight title away from Murata via unanimous decision.
Brant will make the second defense of that title against Murata Friday, July 12 at Edion Arena Osaka in Osaka, Japan. Murata, who captured a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, is one of his nation’s most revered boxing heroes and will look to regain the title in front of his home fans.
Promoted by Teiken Promotions, in association with Top Rank, Greg Cohen Promotions and Rapacz Boxing, U.S. broadcast information for this world championship event will be announced later but more than likely you can expect this to be on the streaming service ESPN+ as it is a Top Rank Boxing card.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) April 25, 2019
Brant (25-1, 17 KOs), a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, is unbeaten when fighting as a middleweight. He entered the first Murata fight as a big underdog, but his output changed that narrative. Brant threw 1,262 punches in their first fight. That total is the second-most ever recorded by CompuBox in a middleweight fight and completely overwhelmed Murata. In his last title defense, in front of his home crowd at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota, Brant knocked out previously unbeaten Khasan Baysangurov in the 11th round.
“I am very excited to be defending my title in Japan against Ryota Murata. Ever since I beat him for the belt, I have always known this fight was on the horizon,” Brant said in a press release. “I feel Murata is only at his full potential while in front of his people. This fight is me showing the world that I can bring my full potential with me wherever I go.”
Murata (14-2, 11 KOs) had a fast rise through the pro ranks after turning pro in August 2013. He won the first 12 bouts of his career before losing a highly controversial split decision to Hassan N’Dam in May 2017 for the vacant WBA middleweight title. He exacted revenge five months later, stopping N’Dam in seven rounds to win the title. Murata made one successful title defense before losing to Brant last October.
“Rob Brant beat me fair and square, but I am ready to get revenge,” Murata said in the press release. “I want to show everyone the real Ryota Murata and regain my world title in spectacular fashion. I took some time off after my last fight, but I never lost my fighting desire. In fact, I am more motivated than ever.”
“There is no doubt that the rematch with Murata will be a terrific fight filled with tension, excitement and anticipation in front of the supportive Japanese crowd,” Cohen said to the media. “We expect Rob to perform even better the second time around and look forward to another impressive performance. It certainly won’t be easy, but we are confident that the cream will once again rise to the top.”