Ryota Murata possible for Canelo Alvarez in September
By Aragon Garcia: Ryota Murata is suddenly in the picture as a potential opponent for the next fight with Golden Boy mega-star Canelo Alvarez, potentially replacing Billy Joe Saunders for September.
Canelo vs. Murata will likely take place in Japan rather than in the U.S., where Alvarez has been fighting the majority of his 15-year professional career.
Last year, Murata expressed interest in fighting Canelo. Speaking to Fighthub, Murata said, “I want to fight against him without Mexican beef.”
Canelo-Murata is a fight that could prove to be much more critical for Canelo than if he were to face Saunders, who offers very little in return. Murata could be the key to Canelo and DAZN opening up the lucrative market in Japan.
With a population of 126 million, Japan has a massive amount of Murata fans, who watch him perform each time he fights. These aren’t necessarily hardcore boxing fans in Japan.
Canelo wants to fight abroad to expand his fan base
These are fans of Murata, and Canelo makes them his supporters if he’s able to go over to Japan and look good
Canelo (53-1-2, 36 K.O.s) needs an opponent for his next fight in September on DAZN, and he still wants to fight twice in 2020. WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Murata (16-2, 13 K.O.s) would be the ideal opponent for Canelo
Canelo had hopes of battling his 38-year-old nemesis Gennadiy Golovkin, but the Kazakhstan fighter doesn’t want to face him next. GGG intends to defend his IBF middleweight belt against Kamil Szeremeta
“He [Canelo] wants to fight abroad. We have discussed with him fighting in Japan, a homecoming in Mexico, and the U.K. He has considered all of those options. Before he retires, he will fight abroad,” said Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez to Sky Sports.
“It’s about his brand. He wants to become a more international star, not just fighting in the U.S., And he wants to become an even bigger star than he is now. He has fans all over the world, and he wants to build on that,” said Gomez about Canelo Alvarez.
Saunders has gone from being the frontrunner for Canelo’s next fight to “one of the names considered,” said Gomez.
Right now would be a good time for Canelo to fight Murata and become a star in Japan. Saunders recently fouled things up with his controversial video of him talking about domestic issues that he posted.
Murata has a two-fight winning streak
The 34-year-old Murata has turned his career around since his 12 round decision loss to Rob Brant in 2018. Murata came back from that defeat to beat Brant by a second-round knockout last year in July in Japan in Osaka.
Looking like a completely different fighter, Murata unloaded on Brant with nonstop punches to destroy him in two rounds. Brant never even got into the fight, as Murata was hitting him with hard shots at will.
In Murata’s last fight, he defeated contender Steven Butler by a fifth-round knockout last December. The little known Butler never stood a chance.
Murata’s other loss on his resume is a controversial 12 round split decision defeat to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in May 207 in a fight that a lot of people thought was a robbery. Murata fought well enough to deserve a decision, but two of the judges surprisingly scored it for N’dam.
Not a good time for Canelo to fight Saunders
It would be better for Canelo to let time go by before he faces Saunders because he doesn’t want to give the impression that he condones the type of things that he discussed in his video. Saunders will still be there for Canelo to fight in two or three years, and hopefully, by then, the fans will have forgotten his offensive comments.
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