Weight Class: Middleweight

Ryota Murata

16 Wins

3 Losses

0 Draws

13 KOs

Age: 36 Date of Birth: January 12, 1986
Height: 6’1” Birth Place: Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Reach: 73" Stance: orthodox

Ryota Murata News & Events

Ryota Murata


At the age of 32, Ryota is a five-year pro. A former WBA middleweight world champion, Ryota won the title in October, 2017, and made one successful title defense.

Before his debut, he was an elite international amateur who won the 165-pound gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. Ryota was the first Japanese boxer to win an Olympic gold medal since bantamweight Takao Sakurai in 1964, and is the only Japanese boxer to win an Olympic medal at a weight higher than bantamweight. He is also the only Japanese boxer to win both an Olympic gold medal and a professional world title.

Ryota was named “2017 Boxer of the Year” by the Japan Boxing Commission and has become a national hero and crossover celebrity in Japan – literally a “household name.”

In his last fight on October 20 in Las Vegas, he lost the WBA title by 12-round unanimous decision against Rob Brant.

Boxingscene.com’s Ryan Burton reported from ringside [excerpts]: Rob Brant shocked a lot of experts as he fought his way to a twelve round unanimous decision over Ryota Murata to capture the WBA “regular” middleweight title. The scores were 118-110, 119-109, 119-109.

In a shocking turn of events, Brant outboxed, outworked and at times was beating up the Olympic gold medal winner. Murata had no answers to change the outcome, as Brant was far busier and was very accurate with is punches.

Brant also showed a solid chin, with his ability to take the hard shots that Murata would land.

Brant came out very aggressively and had success with his combination punching. He kept up his torrid pace in the second which drew a smile from Murata who kept his focus on attacking the body of his opponent to slow him down. Murata had a lot more success in the third, landing several hard shots both upstairs and downstairs.

Murata kept up the attack to the body and started to slow Brant’s punch output in the fourth. Murata hurt Brant in the fifth round with a big right hand and followed it up with several hard punches as Brant valiantly fought back. He was able to regain his legs and landed a big combination of his own before the round ended.

Murata really began to pour it in in the seventh, trapping the American in the corner, forcing him to hold.

The eighth began with a more tactical start until Brant turned it on to end the round. The ninth round was fought at a frenzied pace as Brant increased his punch output again. He was able to stun Murata twice. Murata had a better tenth round that was close like many of the previous rounds.

Both fighters dug deep in the championship rounds feeling that the fight was up for grabs. The furious pace continued in the final round with Brant hurting Murata two more times before the final bell rang. [End Burton item]

In a press release on December 4, 2018, Ryota said, “After the bout, I was 98 percent sure that I would quit. I was just so disappointed in my boxing. I didn’t land a single blow that could have turned the bout around.

“I questioned if I would be alright with that bout being the culmination of my career when I looked back at my life.

“I want to be a boxer who can compete at the world level once again. I can’t finish like this.”

Ryota first challenged for the vacant WBA middleweight world title on May 20, 2017, in Tokyo, but lost a very controversial 12-round split decision against two-time Olympian and former WBA and WBO interim middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam. The WBA ordered an immediate rematch due to the controversy, and the two judges who scored in N’Dam’s favor were suspended by the organization for six months and had to pass several evaluations before being allowed to judge WBA-sanctioned fights again.

In the rematch against N’Dam on October 22, 2017, in Tokyo, Ryota avenged the loss and controversy and won the WBA middleweight world title by seventh-round TKO.

Veteran reporter/matchmaker/television commentator and analyst Joe Koizumi said, “Ryota Murata is truly the most well-known and popular boxer here in Japan. From the viewpoint of huge celebrity, he has had a higher status than Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue, since Murata is truly a Japanese national hero, having acquired the Olympic gold medal in London – only the second in Japanese sports history – and also gained the professional world championship.

“He frequently appears in many TV commercials endorsing name merchandise to have him more known to the public.

“Murata, in Japanese boxing history, is the most talented middleweight boxer, and it is unusual for us to see such an excellent talent in the heavier categories, although we have produced great champions in lighter divisions.” [End Koizumi item]

Ryota’s fights draw tremendous television viewership in Japan. Viewership numbers based on Japan’s ratings service, provided by Teiken Promotions – May 20, 2017, first fight versus N’Dam: approximately 21 million; October 22, 2017, the N’Dam rematch: approximately 27 million; April 15, 2018, first title defense against Blandamura: approximately 15.5 million.

AMATEUR BACKGROUND: Ryota said he was born and raised in Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan, and has two older brothers…his father works as a “civil servant”…he is the only boxer in his family…

He said he started boxing at the age of 13…he became interested in boxing after “watching Joichiro Tatsuyoshi on tv.” [note: Tatsuyoshi, of Osaka, held the WBC bantamweight world title from Sept. 1991 to Sept. 1992; he held the WBA bantamweight world title from Nov. 1997 to Dec. 1998; he retired in 2009 with a record of 20-7-1, 14 KOs)…

Ryota said he had 137 amateur fights, with a record of 119-18…

He is naturally right-handed…he was married in May, 2010, and has one son and one daughter…

From wikipedia.com [excerpts]: Murata began boxing when in first grade at his junior high school. His talents were quickly identified by resident coach Hiroaki Takami, who was a former national champion and competed at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He regularly attended the Shinko Boxing Gym in Osaka to train with former Japanese National Champion Coach Hiromu Kuwata during that time before changing schools to attend the Minami-Kyoto High School where he was then coached by the late Maekawa Takemoto, who passed away at the age of 50 in 2010.

Murata won the All Japan Boxing National Championships at middleweight in 2004 when he was only 18 and since then has remained unbeaten on home soil. That same year he joined up with his national squad and made his international debut at the King’s Cup in Thailand where he secured a hard-fought runner-up place. Following that impressive tournament, he then claimed a bronze at the 2005 Asian Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

He won the Japanese National Championships in 2009 before returning to the international fold at the 2010 China Open Tournament where he secured a confidence-boosting bronze medal.

Murata could not compete at the Asian Games in Guangzhou following an injury sustained right before the championships but he came back stronger and stepped up a level in 2011.

The tough Japanese boxer went on to win the gold medal at the President’s Cup in Jakarta where he stopped all of his rivals within the distance, with scalps including Russia’s Anatoliy Klinkov and Turkmenistan’s Arslanbek Achilov. As a result, he travelled to the ASBC’s Asian Boxing Championships in Incheon as the favourite. His opening victory over Chinese titleholder Zhang Jianting however was unfortunately followed by a quarter-final loss to eventual winner Shukhrat Abdullayev of Uzbekistan. [End wikipedia.com item]

From aiba.org [Oct. 15, 2012 – excerpts]:


In a country with a rich heritage in combat sports, Japan has waited a long time to find a new boxing hero but that all changed this summer at the ExCeL Arena.

Two months on from the London 2012 Olympic Games, middleweight superstar Ryota Murata is still basking in the glory of capturing his country’s first boxing gold medal since 1964.

Impressive with his unique blend of poise and power, he delighted the crowds at the ExCeL arena every time he took to the ring as he emulated his compatriot Takao Sakurai’s final victory at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.

After being crowned Amateur boxer of the year in Japan in both 2005 and 2011, he received the Metropolitan Sport Award in 2012 and the Nara Citizens Honour Award after his heroics in London. Boxing is now back on the map in Japan….

Murata is the hundredth gold medalist for Japan in their Olympic history. It is Japan’s first boxing gold medal since Takao Sakurai won in the bantamweight class in 1964, and also is the first-ever boxing medal in a weight class other than bantamweight or flyweight. [End AIBA item]


2012 OLYMPIC GAMES – London England, 165 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 8-2-12 he won a 21-12 decision against Abdelmalek Rahou of Algeria; in the quarterfinals on 8-6-12 he won a 17-13 decision against Adem Kilici of Turkey; in the semifinals on 8-10-12 he won a 13-12 decision against Abbos Atoyev of Uzbekistan; in the finals on 8-11-12 he won a 14-13 decision against Esquiva Falcao of Brazil; The Mainichi [Japan] reported from ringside [excerpts]: “Murata entered the ring smiling as always, while his wife Yoshiko watched from the stands. When the fight ended and the judges met to decide the winner, Murata raised his arms in apparent confidence of his victory. When a referee held up Murata’s hand, Yoshiko jumped ecstatically.”…

2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Baku, Azerbaijan, 165 pounds – SILVER MEDALIST: in his first fight on 9-26-11 he stopped Leandro Sanchez of Argentina in the 2nd round; in his second fight on 10-1-11 he stopped Abbos Atoyev of Uzbekistan in the 3rd round; in his third fight on 10-3-11 he won a 22-11 decision against Mohammad Sattarpoor of Iran; in his fourth fight on 10-4-11 he won an 18-15 decision against Stefan Haertel of Germany; in the quarterfinals on 10-5-11 he won an 18-9 decision against Darren O’Neill of Ireland; in the semifinals on 10-7-11 he won a 24-11 decision against Esquiva Falcao of Brazil; in the finals on 10-8-11 he lost a 24-22 decision against Evhen Khytrov of Ukraine…

2011 ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS – Incheon, South Korea, 165 pounds: in his first fight on 8-5-11 stopped Zhang Jianting of China in the 2nd round; in the quarterfinals on 8-8-11 he lost a 23-14 decision against Shukhrat Abdullayev of Uzbekistan…

2011 PRESIDENT’S CUP – Jakarta, Indonesia, 165 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in his first fight on 7-3-11 he stopped Anatoliy Klinkov of Russiain the 1st round; in the quarterfinals on 7-5-11 he stopped Yang Yu Ting of Taipei in the 2nd round; in the semifinals on 7-7-11 he stopped Jong-Yeob Lee of Korea in the 2nd round; in the finals on 7-8-11 he stopped Arslanbek Achilov of Turkey in the 3rd round…

2010 CHINA OPEN – Guiyang, China, 175 pounds – BRONZE MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 4-7-10 he won a 21-2 decision against Odai Alhindawi of Jordan; in the semifinals on 4-9-10 he lost a 7-1 decision against Husan Baimatov of Kazakhstan…

2009 JAPANESE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – Chiba, Japan, 165 pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 11-20-09 he stopped Yusuke Nisato in the 2nd round; in the semifinals on 11-21-09 he stopped Tetsuya Ishikawa in the 2nd round; in the finals on 11-22-09 he stopped Kentaro Hayashi in the 1st round…

2008 ASIAN OLYMPIC QUALIFIER – Astana, Kazakhstan, 165 pounds: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 3-20-08 he lost an 18-12 decision against Hamyoun Amiri of Iran…

2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Chicago, Illinois, 165 pounds: in his first fight on 10-24-07 he won a 24-22 decision against Donatas Bondorovas of Lithuania; in his second fight on 10-27-07 he lost a 17-12 decision against Shawn Estrada of the United States…

2006 ASIAN GAMES – Doha, Qatar, 165 pounds: in his first fight on 12-5-06 he lost a 24-5 decision against Bakhtyar Artayev of Kazakhstan…

2005 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Mianyang, China, 165 pounds: in his first fight on 11-13-05 he was stopped against Nikolajs Grisunins of Latvia [no round reported]…

STRENGTHS: Has an aggressive style and good punching power…had a strong amateur background…

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 16 fights…104 total rounds…39 world championship rounds…


KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: of total fights – 68 %…of wins – 78 %…

DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 2 (1-1)…10 rounds – 3 (3-0)…


  • World Championship Fights: 2-2, 2 KOs
  • Former middleweight world title challenger
  • Japan Boxing Commission “2017 Boxer of the Year"
  • 2012 Olympics (amateur), 165 pounds – Gold Medalist
  • 2011 World Championships (amateur), 165 pounds – Silver Medalist
  • 2011 President's Cup (amateur), 165 pounds – Gold Medalist

Fight History

Win 16-2 Steven Butler Dec. 23, 2019 TKO 5 2:45 Retained WBA (Regular) middleweight title
Win 15-2 Rob Brant Jul. 12, 2019* TKO 2 2:34
Lose 14-2 Rob Brant Oct. 20, 2018* UD 12 3:00 Lost WBA (Regular) middleweight title
Win 14-1 Emanuele Blandamura Apr. 15, 2018 TKO 8 2:56 Retained WBA (Regular) middleweight title
Win 13-1 Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam Oct. 22, 2017* RTD 7 3:00 Won WBA (Regular) middleweight title
Lose 12-1 Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam May 20, 2017 SD 12 3:00 For vacant WBA (Regular) middleweight title
Win 12-0 Bruno Sandoval Dec. 30, 2016 KO 3 2:53
Win 11-0 George Tahdooahnippah Jul. 23, 2016* TKO 1 1:52
Win 10-0 Felipe Santos May 14, 2016* TKO 4 2:50
Win 9-0 Gaston Alejandro Vega Jan. 30, 2016* KO 2 2:23
Win 8-0 Gunnar Jackson Nov. 7, 2015* UD 10 3:00
Win 7-0 Douglas Ataide May 1, 2015 TKO 5 0:38
Win 6-0 Jessie Nicklow Dec. 30, 2014 UD 10 3:00
Win 5-0 Ricardo Adrian Luna Flores Sep. 5, 2014 UD 10 3:00
Win 4-0 Jesus Angel Nerio May 22, 2014 KO 6 2:35
Win 3-0 Carlos Nascimento Feb. 22, 2014 TKO 4 0:43
Win 2-0 Dave Peterson Dec. 6, 2013 TKO 8 1:20
Win 1-0 Akio Shibata Aug. 25, 2013 TKO 2 2:24
*Indicates Top Rank Promoted Event

Ryota Murata Q&A

When did you start boxing and why?

Started boxing at the age of 13 years old to become physically strong.

What is your first memory in the sport?

Training was tough.

Which fighters do you pattern yourself after?

I use to watch fighters like Felix Trinidad and Oscar De la Hoya

What languages are you fluent in?


What’s your favorite movie?

Life Is Beautiful

What artists are most heavily featured on your playlist in camp?

Superfly (Japanese artist)

Where do you want to be 5 years from now?

I couldn’t have imagined where I am now 5 years ago. I don’t know what lies ahead.

If I wasn’t a professional boxer, I would be…

University teacher.

What or who is the biggest motivation in your life and why?

To excite the people of Japan.

Walkout song?

Pirates of the Caribbean