At the age of 31, Ryota is a three-year pro. A top contender at 160 pounds, he is a former elite international amateur who won the middleweight gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Over his first 12 fights as a pro, he stayed active in the ring, stepped up in class of opposition, and gave strong performances. He has had nine scheduled 10-rounders, and gone the full 10-round distance three times.
He is now an “uncrowned champion.” In his last fight on May 20 in Tokyo, Ryota challenged for the vacant WBA middleweight world title but lost a very controversial decision against two-time Olympian and former WBA and WBO interim middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported [excerpts]: Horrible decision alert! How bad was this judging atrocity? The day after the fight, WBA president Gilberto Mendoza, whose organization sanctioned it for its secondary title, apologized for the scoring, to Murata, his team and all Japanese fans and said an immediate rematch would be ordered. That’s extraordinarily unusual.
American judge Raul Caiz Sr. (117-111) got it right. Judges Gustavo Padilla, of Panama, had a putrid score of 116-111 and Canada’s Hubert Earl (115-112) was also bad in a fight Japan’s Murata, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, dominated against former titlist N’Dam.
Murata dropped N’Dam with a right hand late in the fourth round and manhandled him. [End Rafael item]
A WBA press release stated [May 25 – excerpts]: Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, president of the World Boxing Association (WBA), announced at a press conference Thursday that judges Gustavo Padilla of Panama and Hubert Earle of Canada were suspended for six months – over their scoring of the fight from last Saturday in Japan in the match between Hassan N’Dam and Ryota Murata for the “regular” middleweight title of the sanctioning body.
“My decision of that contest, those of 5 judges who evaluated the fight and the one of the supervisors that was present at the fight – were different from the one that those judges saw. I considered that I should address this case as soon as possible and I did so on Saturday. However, we had to announce the measures we would take with the judges after a more extensive evaluation of what happened,” Mendoza said.
In addition to the 6-month suspension, both Padilla and Earle must pass several evaluations before being able to be judges again in the case of a fight sanctioned by the WBA and its regional organizations.
Mendoza also ordered a rematch between Hassan N’Dam and Ryota Murata.
“I have already apologized publicly for the N’Dam-Murata case. In my social networks I made known my point of view and score. I want you to know that I did this, because I think the case deserved it.” [End WBA item]