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Ryota Murata vs. Hassan N’Dam on May 20

Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam

By Dan Ambrose: 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata (12-0, 10 KOs) hasn’t faced any live bodies since turning pro in 2013, but that’s still not stopping him from fighting for the vacant WBA World middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam (35-2, 21 KOs) at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan. Murata and N’Dam are going to be fighting for the WBA title that was recently in possession of Daniel Jacobs. He lost the title when he was beaten by Gennady Golovkin by a 12 round unanimous decision on March 18 of this year.

You can argue that neither of these two fighters rate to be fighting for the vacant WBA title. Murata, 31, has been fighting strictly obscure 2nd tier fighters since he turned pro. N’Dam, 33, beat Alfono Blanco by a 1st round knockout in his last fight in December to win the interim WBA World middleweight title. Blanco, 31, is a 2008 Olympian from Venezuela, who had never beaten anyone good since he turned pro.

Murata is ranked #2 by the World Boxing Association, and N’Dam #1. What’s interesting is that N’Dam is ranked above #5 WBA David Lemieux despite losing to him by a 12 round decision 2 years ago in 2015. N’Dam has won his last 4 fights since then against the like of Alfonso Blanco, Tomasz Gargula, Robert Swierzbinkski and Patrick Mendy.

The WBA Super World middleweight title is still in the possession of Gennady Golovkin. Murata won’t likely ever fight him unless Golovkin chooses to stay at 160 after 2017.

N’Dam has the boxing skills to beat Murata. What he might not have is the punch resistance. Lemieux knocked N’Dam down 4 times in beating him by a 12 round decision in 2015. N’Dam was knocked down 6 times by Peter Quillin in losing a 12 round decision in 2012. N’Dam lost his WBO middleweight title to Quillin in that defeat. He’d picked up the WBO title in August 2012 outside of the ring when the organization elevated him to their WBO title.

“I think I made the right decision to come to professional boxing after the Olympics,” Murata said via the “Because I would not have seen the things I’ve seen as a pro fighter otherwise. In a sense, I’m doing this to measure how good I am. I believe (N’Dam) is a dangerous boxer to take on. This is a chance to prove whether I’m strong or not.”

Tim Tszyu vs. Ben Nelson this Saturday

Unbeaten middleweight prospect Tim Tszyu (2-0, 1 KOs) will be fighting Ben Nelson (2-2) this Saturday night on April 8 in a scheduled 4 round fight at the Doltone House, in Sylvania Waters, Australia. The 22-year-old Tszyu is the son of former light welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu. Tim Tszyu made his pro debut last December in beating Zoran Cassady by a 6 round unanimous decision. In Tszyu’s last fight, he defeated Mark Dalby by a 3rd round knockout last February.

The 5’8” Tim Tszyu is a lot taller than his father Kostya. He’s taller and he doesn’t possess the huge power that his father had. Tim does have good power, but not the kind of power that we saw from Kostya during his career. Tim Tszyu is still young though, so there’s a possibility he could develop his power as he gets older.

Tszyu will be fighting Ivana Siau on May 6 on the undercard of the Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury card at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

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