Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Results: Brant Spoils Murata’s US Debut


By: Michael Kane

Not many people gave Rob Brant much of a chance going into his WBA Middleweight title match against champion Ryota Murata. However Brant left the ring as the new champion.

Brant (24-1, 16 KO’s) showed he meant business right from the start, throwing punches, on the front foot. Murata (14-2, 11 KO’s) smiled through out the first round, as if bemused by Brant’s fast start, possibly expecting Brant to slow down.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account

Brant continued the fast pace until the 4th round when Murata started to land some heavy body shots, this led to a 5th round in which the Japanese Olympic gold medallist sensed he was gaining the upper hand and was throwing more punches however Brant weathered the storm and ended the round landing several right hands.

Murata had the power however Brant was landing frequently. Brant had now slowed down from his fast paced earlier rounds but was still appearing busier than Murata and landing point scoring shots.

As the championship rounds came, Murata sensed he had to up his game but Brant had his second wind and landed a couple of good right hands in the final round that appeared to hurt Murata.

The judges all scored the bout in favour of Brant, 118-110, 119-109, 119-109.

The statistics showed Brant threw 1262 punches, landing 356 compares to Murata throwing 764 and landing 180.

“This is one of the best moments of my life,” Brant said in the press conference afterwards. “I wasn’t thinking about punch output. I was thinking about winning.”

“This was a great middleweight championship fight,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arun. “Both fighters showed tremendous heart. Congratulations to the new champion. He deserved the win.”

Top Rank are putting a brave face on this defeat for Murata as they had big plans for him, with a fight against GGG or Canelo Alvarez rumoured to be on the horizon. However Brant remains undefeated in the middleweight division, his only defeat coming at super middleweight.

Also on the card at Park Theatre at Park MGM in Las Vegas was Maxim Dadashev defending his NABF super lightweight title against former world champion Antonio DeMarco.

DeMarco (33-7-1, 24 KO’s) showed his champion credentials as he stunned Dadashev (12-0, 10 KO’s) on several occasions throughout the fight. Dadashev had enough about him to survive these scares and come through and retain his belt. Dadashev won the last three rounds to secure the win.

The scorecard was 96-94, 97-93, 98-92.

The bout was a good learning experience for Dadashev, which he said so in the press conference.

“This was a great learning experience for me. DeMarco is a true champion and he thought with great heart and determination.”

Highly rated Irishman, Michael Conlan made his Vegas debut on the card against Italian Nicola Cipolletta, who was making his American debut.

Conlan pressured from the start, with Cipolletta on the defensive through out. Conlan landed several good shots to the body and head in the 7th which forced the referee to stop the fight.

Conlan moves on to 9-0 and is due back in the ring on the undercard of Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton bout in Manchester, England on December 22nd.

“When you fight a guy who is negative and trying to survive, those guys are the hardest guys to look good against,” Conlan said. “He was just negative. Now I want real opponents. I want top 10, top 15 opponents. These are the guys who are going to make me look good. These are the guys who are going to bring out the best of my technical ability. When you see guys trying to survive, it’s a lot easier to survive than fight it out.”

Other Results:
Middleweight: Esquiva Cacao (22-0, 15 KO’s) defeated Guido Porto (25-6-2, 8 KO’s) by unanimous decision 100-90 x3.

Lightweight: Joseph Adorno (10-0, 9 KO’s) defeated Kevin Cruz (8-1, 5 KO’s) by unanimous decision over 6 rounds, 59-53, 59-53, 58-54.

Super Lightweight: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (6-0, 3 KO’s) won by 2nd rd TKO against Wilberth Lopez (23-10, 15 KO’s).

Featherweight: Vladimir Nikitin (2-0, 0 KO) won by unanimous decision over 6 rounds against Clay Burns (5-5-2, 4 KO’s). 59-55 x3.

Featherweight: Adam Lopez (11-1, 5 KO’s) defeated Hector Ambriz (12-8-2, 6 KO’s) by 8th round TKO.

Middleweight: David Kaminsky (3-0, 2 KO’s) won by 2nd round TKO against Noah LaCoste (2-1, 2 KO’s).

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