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Olympic Gold Medalist Murata turns professional

By Joe Koizumi

Olympic gold medalist in London, Japanese middleweight Ryota Murata, 27, officially announced he’ll turn professional last Friday, and passed a professional test of Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) on Tuesday. The JBC mandates young aspirants to pass (1) sparring sessions to prove eligible to fight professionally in the future, plus (2) written examination to prove his knowledge on boxing rules and regulations. Murata successfully passed both tests to be allowed to fight in eight or ten rounds from his pro debut as A-class boxer under the JBC. His sparring took place beneath the Inoue-Sano showdown at the Korakuen Hall to be telecast live nationwide through Fuji Television.

Murata gained the silver medal in the World Championship in 2011, and the Olympic gold in London last year to his credit. Having worked in his alma mater, Toyo University, he decided to resign and test his fists in the professional filed. Murata, whose amateur record was 119-19 with 89 stoppages, may train under Cuban trainer Ismael Salas in the US and will make a pro debut in August, which will cause a great sensation here in Japan.

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