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Boxing | International

Ryota Murata © Gallo Images

Murata stops Blandamura in eight

WBA “regular” middleweight champion Ryota Murata of Japan won on an eighth-round technical knockout against Italy’s Emmanuele Blandamura to retain his belt for the first time at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday.

The bigger Murata was in control from the opening bell, scoring with some stinging left jabs and right-handers.

The champion applied constant pressure on Blandamura, who was only competitive on rare occasions throughout the fight.

In rounds five and six the fight became more one-sided as Murata pounded the challenger but was unable to land any clean shots to stop the Italian in his tracks.

After a quiet seventh round Murata dropped Blandamura with a big right hand in the eighth round as referee Raul Caiz Jr stepped in to wave the fight off. Time was 2:56.

Murata improved his record to 14-1; 11 and Blandamura’s record dropped 27-3; 5.

Gennady Golovkin holds the WBA “super”, WBC, IBF middleweight belts and Billy Joe Saunders holds the WBO belt.


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