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Murata Retires N'Dam After Seven

Ryota Murata turns gold into world title
Ryota Murata turns gold into world title

By Derek Bonnett

Early Sunday, October 22, Ryota Murata received his second try at Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in a twelve round middleweight bout. In one of 2017’s most controversial scoring jobs. N’Dam retained his title with a split decision over the Japanese Olympic gold medalist. However, the rematch would see a different head to head pairing in Tokyo and the title changed hands as it should have back in July.


The first several rounds were competitive as Murata jumped to an early start using his jab to land his powerful right hand on the champion. N’Dam used his footwork to better avoid Murata’s right in the third and his busier hands prevailed in the third. However, it would be the only round he would win on the SecondsOut scorecard. Murata upped his body attack in round four and began to sap the strength from the champion’s legs and a little will from his heart. Murata used his right well, delivering it straight or condensing it for a hook to catch N’Dam on the chin in round five. The challenger’s pressure was most evident in round six as N’Dam barely threw a punch and landed only twice. Meanwhile, the Japanese challenger committed himself to a stern body assault. The body work continued into the seventh. Every time N’Dam would raise his guard to protect his head, Murata wisely brought his punches down. Murata’s jab stopped the champion in his track twice near the end of the frame.


With seven rounds down, N’Dam communicated verbally or through his body language and his corner called the referee over to affirm their surrender. Murata, 31, claimed his first world championship as a professional. His ledger rose to 14-1-0 (10). N’Dam, 33, fell to 36-3-0 (21).

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