Ryota Murata (13-1, 1KO’s) will be defending his World Boxing Association (WBA) World Middleweight title against Emanuele Felice Blandamura (27-2, 5KO’s) this Sunday, April 15th. The bout will be aired live on ESPN2 from Yokohama, Japan.
Murata and Blandamura both made weight, with the WBA champion Murata coming in right on the divisional limit of 160.0lbs and the challenger Blandamura coming in at 159.5lbs.
Murata is making the first defense of his title after winning from Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam this last October in a seven round route. That fight was a rematch, with their first bout being in May of 2017 when the title was vacant. That fight ended in a very controversial split decision win for N’Dam where two referees were suspended for six months by the WBA and a rematch was ordered.
Blandamura is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Alessandro Goddi this last June. Blandamura is not a household name and has lost by stoppage the two times he has stepped up in class. He lost to Michel Soro via knockout in the eighth round in June of 2015 and then Billy Joe Saunders by knockout in the eighth round in July of 2014.