Report by Joe Koizumi
Photo by Boxing Beat
Olympic gold medalist in London, Japanese middleweight Ryota Murata will make a pro debut against current OPBF middleweight champ Akio Shibata (21-7-1, 9 KOs) for six sensational rounds in Tokyo on August 25. Murata, a highly expected athlete, will appear at the Ariake Coliseum, since there will be a bigger crowd to see his first professional bout than the capacity of the Korakuen Hall, our regular boxing venue. Murata is the second gold medalist ever produced in Japan since golden bantam Takao Sakurai in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. It will be competed at the 73 kilogram (161 pounds) catchweight without Shibata’s OPBF belt on the line. Murata’s good performance will be highly expected by our fight fans.