LAS VEGAS, Nevada, Oct. 20, 2018 – Middleweight Ryoto Murata of Japan got an early Halloween scare from American Robert “Bravo” Brant in Las Vegas Saturday. Brant started strong and never let up for 12 hard fought rounds, dominating the champion on all three judges’ scorecards. Scores were 119-109 X 2, and 118-110. Brant is now the WBA regular middleweight champion.
Brant (24-1, 16 KOs) said prior to the fight he would come out strong. Murata (14-2, 11 KOs) is known to be a slow starter. Brant took the first two rounds with relative ease due to Murata’s inactivity. As Murata got busier and began firing his right hook, the script would see Brant slowing down and Murata beginning to capitalize on it.
It didn’t happen that way. Brant kept up the pace and never let Murata rest for a moment. He threw solid punches in combination and stayed mobile, challenging Murata to chase him and find him. By the middle of the fight, both men had abandoned all but the most basic defense, making it a firefight. Energized fans on both sides of the ring began cheering: “USA, USA” for Brant, and “Murata, Murata” from the many Japanese fans in attendance, making it sound like a far larger crowd than the official attendance of 2,782.
“This is one of the best moments of my life,” said Brant. “I wasn’t thinking about punch output. I was thinking about winning.”
Brant shows impressive conditioning and work rate
Brant’s punch output tells the story of the fight: 1,262 punches thrown, 356 landed. Murata landed 180 of 774 punches, nearly half of Brant’s volume.
After the fight, Murata gave credit to Brant for his performance. Murata said he was surprised with Brant’s speed. He also commented that Brant prepared for Murata’s right hand and made it less of a factor in the fight.
Brant looks forward to a unification fight
Murata hoped a win would land him a fight against the middleweight division’s “people’s champion” Gennady Golovkin. Now it’s Brant who has a variety of options. Brant should now become the mandatory challenger to Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez moving up to super middleweight for his next fight, the WBA may direct Brant to secure a fight against someone else – possibly Golovkin. It’s all good news for Brant, whose career was in limbo in the hottest division in boxing before his win. Talk about good timing.
Dadashev defeats DeMarco to remain undefeated
In the co-main, Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev faced a determined but outworked Antonio DeMarco for the NABF Super Lightweight title. Dadashev (12-0, 10 KOs) pulled ahead in the second half of the fight to win a unanimous decision and remain undefeated. Scores were 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94.
DeMarco (33-7-1, 24 KOs) kept it closer than the wider scores indicate. He tagged and staggered Dadashev several times, but it always seemed he did so near the end of the round and couldn’t follow up. DeMarco had plenty of the supporters in the crowd urging him to go after Dadashev, and he should have followed their advice. Dadashev is a power puncher but didn’t appear to be able to seriously hurt DeMarco. At this point of DeMarco’s career, it would not have hurt him to take a chance and be more aggressive, even at the risk of catching a punch. It would have at least given him a fighting chance.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for Communities and for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. She is owner of the Falcon Valley Group based in San Diego, California. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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