Ryota Murata's journey to the WBA middleweight title has ended, with Murata leaving no stone unturned in beating Hassan N'Dam.
Murata defeated N'Dam via seventh-round stoppage at the Ryōgoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo on ESPN2 in a rematch from their first fight earlier this year, when N'Dam took home the vacant WBA "regular" middleweight title. The first fight was a controversial one with N'Dam winning the title via split decision, much to the chagrin of the WBA and boxing community.
The Japanese star was in control of the entire fight, landing crushing power shots to N'Dam at an incredibly efficient rate. According to CompuBox, Murata landed 147 of 295 punches (50 percent), including 109 of 193 power punches (57 percent) while N'Dam connected on 68 of 347 punches (20 percent). Even with Murata dominating the fight, there was no telling how the fight was being scored during the fight, but even the scorecards ended up being a nonfactor. Murata was leading 70-63, 69-64 and 68-65 after seven rounds on the three judges scorecards.
The governing body ordered a rematch after their first match, suspending the two judges that scored the fight in favor of N'Dam. Judge Raul Caiz Jr., who was the lone judge to score the fight in favor of Murata back in May. Murata now joins Gennady Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders as current world titleholders in boxing's 160-pound division.
On the undercard, Japanese world champions Ken Shiro and Daigo Higa retain their WBC light flyweight and flyweight titles, respectively, in their first title defenses.