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Ryota Murata defeats Hassan N’Dam – Results

Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam

By Chris Williams: Ryota Murata (13-1, 10 KOs) wore down and stopped WBA World middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam (36-3, 21 KOs) at the end of the 7th round to capture his WBA 160 lb. title in their rematch on Sunday night at the Kukugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

N’Dam, 33, opted not to come out for round 8. He was pretty well beaten, and he hadn’t been competitive in the fight other than in round 3.

The judges had the 31-year-old Murata ahead by the following scores at the time the fight was halted: 69-64, 68-65 and 70-63. Boxing News 24 had Murata up by a 70-63 score.

N’Dam looked tired and weak from the 3rd round. It’s unclear whether he had problems making weight or what, but he wasn’t the fighter he’d been in the past. N’Dam looked lethargic, tired and incredibly weak. N’Dam had nothing on his punches whatsoever. He had the look of someone that had taken a lot of weight to get down to the 160 lb. weight limit for the fight. N’Dam looked even weaker than Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. did in his fight earlier this year against Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 6. Chavez Jr. had taken off massive amounts of weight to get down to the 164.5 lb. catch-weight limit for the fight. By the time the fight started, Chavez Jr. was completely drained and ineffective. He had nothing on his punches. N’Dam was even weaker than Chavez Jr., and just as exhausted looking.

It wasn’t much of a fight. N’Dam was throwing weak shots at Murata in the first few rounds, moving and trying not to get hit. Murata was constantly walking forward, smiling and nailing N’Dam with left hooks to the body and chopping right hands to the head. Murata looked very confident, which isn’t surprising. N’Dam looked totally drained, and he had nothing on his punches. N’Dam had nothing to keep Murata off of him, so it was a mismatch from the start.

Rounds 2 and 3 were close due to N’Dam throwing and landing a lot of punches. He was moving during those rounds, making it difficult for the slow-footed Murata to connect with his power shots. If you were going to give N’Dam any rounds in the fight, it would be either the 2nd or the 3rd. I had a hard time giving N’Dam any rounds, because his punches were too weak in comparison to Murata’s. N’Dam did show good boxing ability with his movement and punch variety, but he lacked the energy needed for him to conclusively win those rounds. N’Dam looked like he was in the 12th round, as he was in a state of exhaustion and he had nothing on his punches. Even N’Dam’s movements seemed labored. He was getting tired just moving around the ring slowly. N’Dam looked completely different fighter than the one that had beaten Murata earlier this year in May. N’Dam did something wrong in training camp for him to be in this state for tonight’s fight. The way that N’Dam looked, he appeared weight drained.

In round 4, N’Dam was throwing fewer shots, and his legs appeared too weak to carry him. Twice during the round, N’Dam fell down from slips. He looked so exhausted that he couldn’t stay on his feet. During the round, N’Dam would look at the clock frequently whenever he was in a clinch with Murata. N’Dam seemed more interested in knowing when the round would be over than he was in fighting.

It was total one-way traffic in round 5, as Murata was teeing off on the tired looking N’Dam, and not having to deal with anything coming back at him. N’Dam landed just 2 punches in the entire round. N’Dam’s corner would have done well to stop the contest after this round, because it was obvious that he was too weak to fight and he wasn’t going to win. N’Dam looked needless punishment in the round. Murata didn’t look good despite him landing all the shots. He looked like a slow one-paced fighter, who was incapable of fighting at a faster pace. During this round, Murata reminded me of a shorter version of Wladimir Klitschko with the way he fighting in a methodical, dull manner. Wladimir had a way of fighting at a very slow and mechanical manner in this fights, and he rarely was able to speed up the pace to make it exciting for the boxing fans. Murata was fighting the exact same way, which is probably why N’Dam was able to last until the 7th. If Murata had switched gears and increased the pressure, speed of his punches, and thrown more shots, he would have gotten N’Dam out of there as early as the 2nd round. N’Dam looked so tired right off the bat in the fight. Any top middleweight that showed a sense of urgency would have gotten him out of there right away in my opinion. Murata isn’t that type of fighter though. He likes to fight in a painfully slow manner, and that’s why he’s going to have problems one of these days when his promoter Bob Arum matches him against someone good for the first time.

Round 6 was exactly the same as the 5th round, with Murata landing at will with his punches, and N’Dam laboring to throw a small handful of shots. N’Dam’s batteries were totally drained by this point in the fight. He looked like he was at 10% capacity in the round. N’Dam wasn’t hurt. He looked exhausted and very weak.

Murata spent the entire 7th round teeing off on N’Dam with his chopping shots to the head, and left hooks to the body. N’Dam tried to move around to elude Murata, but his legs were too weak to carry him far. Murata was able to get to N’Dam every time with ease. It wasn’t surprising that the fight was halted after the 7th, because N’Dam wasn’t going to last much longer with the condition that he was in.

The victory for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata avenges his questionable 12 round split decision defeat 5 months earlier on May 20 in Tokyo, Japan. The boxing world overwhelmingly had Murata winning that fight, but the judges saw it differently in giving N’Dam the win. Not long after the fight, the WBA ordered a rematch between Murata and N’Dam in order to clear up the controversy.

The 6’0” Murata is now the WBA World middleweight champion. However, Murata is not the main WBA 160 lb. champion. That title belongs to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, who holds the WBA Super World middleweight belt, and he’s the guy that is considered the REAL champion. Murata holds the lesser belt, if you can to call it that. For some reason, the WBA has 2 champions at 160 with Golovkin and Murata. The WBA is supposed to be reducing amount of champions they have in the different weight classes, but they still haven’t done that at middleweight unfortunately. Murata’s promoter Bob Arum is likely hoping that the winner of the Golovkin vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight might want to fight Murata. Sadly, it wouldn’t be surprising if that’s what we see. There are arguably far better fighters in the 160 lb. division than Ryota Murata, which is why it’s easy to see him potentially getting a fight against the Canelo-GGG winner. Murata is an easy mark compared to the top contenders like Jermall Charlo, Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Those would be very tough fights for Canelo or Golovkin. Murata would likely be destroyed by all of those fighters.

With Murata now a world champion at 160, you can’t say he’s the weakest link among the champions at 160. In my opinion the weakest champion in the middleweight division is WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders. Murata would come after him. The top guy in the division is Golovkin. He’s coming off of a controversial 12 round draw with the highly popular Canelo Alvarez last September. Golovkin got the better of Canelo and appeared to beat him, but the judges scored it as a draw. Now the two fighters are having a do over. Murata might be in the cards in the future for the winner of that fight. It wouldn’t play well in the U.S, because few boxing fans know who Murata is and he’s not talked about a lot. One of the reasons for that is Murata’s management hasn’t matched him against anyone good as of yet. N’Dam is not one of the major players. N’Dam has suffered losses in the past to David Lemieux and Peter Quillin. Those defeats showed how limited N’Dam is as a fighter.

It might be a good time for N’Dam to consider retiring. I don’t see him getting lucky again and winning another world title. He arguably didn’t deserve to win the last time against Murata, and he’s not going to be able to beat any of the existing champions with the way he’s fighting at this point in his career. I can’t see N’Dam ever challenging for another world title. He certainly won’t get selected by any of the champions in a voluntary defense, and I can’t see him getting ranked No.1 again like the WBA had him ranked earlier this year. That was a strange ranking, because N’Dam hadn’t done anything to deserve the high ranking.

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