Olympic Middleweights: Murata Hopes For Repeat Against Florentino


Great Britain missed having a finalist in the middleweight division at the Olympics,. but the fans at the ExCel Arena should have an exciting middleweight final to see nonetheless; a rematch of a bout from last year’s World Championships.

Anthony Ogogo faced off against Brazil’s fourth-seed, Esquivo Falcao Florentino in the semifinal bout, and though he hung in very tough in the first round, making it even on the judges’ scorecards, he was bested in the second by three points, with it just getting worse from there. The southpaw Florentino has Ogogo flustered, and the decision was more or less a fait accompli going into the third round. The final tally was 16-9 in favor of the Brazilian, who moves into the gold medal match that will take place later today.

The opponent for Florentino will be Japan’s Ryota Murata, who defeated Abbos Atoev in rather dramatic fashion in the other semifinal. Murata got almost nothing going in the first round, allowing Atoev to get out to a 4-1 advantage, and he could not make up any ground in the second, which was scored even. In the third round, Murata had to pull out all the stops, and that is exactly what he did, smothering Atoev with his attack. By the time it was over, the judges were just as overwhelmed as Atoev was, and they awarded the round 8-4 to Murata, barely allowing him to get out of the fight with a 13-12 victory.

A tall middleweight, measuring almost six feet, Murata first made his mark with a bronze medal at the 2005 Asian Amateur Championships. He is a four-time All-Japan champion, but he didn’t have very much luck on the world scene until just recently. In fact, after he lost out in an Olympic qualifying tournament in 2008, he retired from amateur competition.

He came back after about 18 months off, and he came back strong. Fist he won the 2011 President’s Cup, and then in the World Championship he beat a slew of opponents to reach the finals, where he lost to Ukraine’s Evhen Khytrov to get the silver.

To get to the final match, Murata scored a resounding win over Florentino. In fact, the 24-11 score left very little room for doubt, and it’s clear that Florentino, brother of fellow Olympian Yamaguchi Florentino, will have his work cut out for him.

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