It was easy work for Ryota Murata, who packed the Yokohama Arena in Japan, and had his way with over matched Emanuele Blandamura on Sunday morning (US Eastern Time), scoring a TKO8 win in a promotion put together by Teikken, with an assist from Top Rank.
Murata (from Tokyo; 32 years old) rose to 14-1 and retained his WBA 160 pound crown over a 38 year old with a 17% KO percentage, so expectations for Blandamura (from Rome, Italy; 27-3; ranked No. 6 by the WBC) were measured, at best.
Helping out describe the action on the ESPN call was the analytical pride of Staten Island, Teddy Atlas, Mr. “Water in The Basement.” Atlas had seen sidelined, after ESPN went with Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley in the color chairs of their fights of late. This re-appearance of the combustible Mr. Atlas, the combo of Knute Rockne and Cus D'Amato, may well stand as the most significant and compelling element of this scrap.
This was the first defense of the crown Murata won last year when he beat Hassan N’Damn, as they vied for an orphaned belt. Blandy hadn’t been in a ring for heading to a year, though bodily, he looked fine. The betting line coming in was 35 to 1 for the favorite Murata, for the record.
Early on, Blandamura looked to move, move and pop some. Atlas predicted that by round six, it would be lights out for the Italian. Blandy took maybe one of the first two, which saw Murata as usual be quite measured, looking to land power after finding a sweet opening.
By the third, Blandy’s mouth was hanging open, as his constant lateral movement affected his middled aged legs.
Fast forwarding to the finish; in the seventh, we heard Atlas wonder if maybe the corner would soon pull the plug on the side sided scrap, pulling Blandy for his own good.
To start the eighth, Atlas noted that Murata wasn’t cutting off the ring as well as it could be done. Yep, he’s a little too patient at times. Patience was exhausted when a right hand landed on the loser, as he slid to his right. Down to he went on his knees, after getting tagged ont he chin. He was up at 8, but the ref saw resignation on his face, and waved it off.
Murata went 154-368, to 53-289 for Blandy. The victor landed 106 power punches, of 180, for a gaudy 59% connect percentage.
NEXT FOR MURATA?
Reporter Lance Pugmire got some info on what Murata wants next, and what avenues he might be traveling toward, based on the hopes of co-promoter Bob Arum:
Wouldn't it be interesting to see GGG, the “real” WBA titlist, fill up a stadium in Japan, vs. Murata? Maybe..
ALSO: Blandmura didn't “deserve” this title shot, and Murata won't get a press pass if his next foe is similarly situated, in regards to talent and resume.
Listen to my podcast here if you like.