Murata knocks out Blandamura in Japan

Ryota Murata successfully defended his WBA middleweight belt via an eighth round knockout of challenger Emanuele Blandamura on Sunday.

It was the Japanese stars first defence of the title, which he won in October when he defeated Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

Murata was the better fighter in the middle rounds at the Yokohama Arena, working over the Italian’s technique and keeping him guessing with body shots. Blandamura took a beating in the seventh round, with Murata landing several stiff rights to the head and a left hook to the body.

While Blandamura was able to fire back a few shots of his own the the eighth round, Murata bounced back with five blows to Blandamura’s head before finally flooring him with a right hook. 

Elsewhere, WBC flyweight champion Daigo Higa of Japan failed to make weight then was put to the canvas by Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales in the ninth round.