The official weigh-in for Friday’s Middleweight rematch between Rob Brant and Ryota Murata took place earlier today. In their first encounter in October of last year in Las Vegas, NV, Brant out boxed Murata over twelve rounds to earn an impressive twelve round unanimous decision.
Now the rematch, which will take place in Murata’s home country of Japan will have interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Middleweight ratings at stake. A designation, which was also on the line in the first first.
What this means essentially is that the winner of the fight will be the WBA’s mandatory challenger for current unified world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Whether or not the winner of this rematch will in fact face Alvarez in the near future remains to be seen. The winner however, will be one step closer to a shot at a world championship.
The story of this fight will center on Murata and whether he will be able to make any adjustments as compared to the first fight. Im that fight, Brant was able to consistently bring the fight to Murata and produced a solid offensive output landing 356 of 1262 total punches thrown compared to Murata’s 180 of 774 total punches thrown according to CompuBox statistics.
Although mere statistics may not always tell the story of what goes on in a fight, what the statistics show is this was an encounter between two offensive-minded fighters. It is logical to expect that this could be a similar fight based not only on what occurred in the first encounter, but more specifically the styles of the two fighters.
It will be crucial in this observer’s view that Murata find a way to take the initiative in this rematch and must make Brant fight his type of fight. While Brant won the first encounter convincingly, he will be in unfamiliar territory facing Murata in his home country where it may not necessarily be an easy task to win over the crowd and depending on the pace of the fight, get the benefit of the doubt from the three official judges.
Brant must not attempt to duplicate his performance from the first fight, but should take a slightly different and more measured approach in the second fight. Murata could likely be prepared for Brant to throw near non-stop punches as was the case in the first fight. This is why Brant should take a more tactical approach in an attempt to throw Murata off of his fight plan. At the weigh-in earlier today, there was nothing out of the ordinary as both boxers came in just under the 160lb. Middleweight limit weighing an identical 159 1/4lbs.
The rematch, which will be televised here in the United States by digital subscription sports streaming network ESPN+ will pit two of the top Middleweights in the world against each other in what is a talent-deep division at 160lbs. We will see if Brant or Murata can get any closer to the upper echelon of the division.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Brant vs. Murata 2 takes place tomorrow (Friday, July 12th) at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan. The fight can be seen in the United States on digital sports streaming network ESPN+ beginning at 7AM ET/4AM PT. ESPN+ is available throughout the ESPN app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. For more information about ESPN+ and to subscribe please visit: watch.espnplus.com/watch/ESPN+ Check your local listings internationally.
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