Teiken Promotions and Top Rank®, have begun negotiations for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight world title between interim WBA middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam and undefeated No. 2 world-rated contender Ryota Murata.
“While N’Dam wants the fight to take place in France, Mr. Honda and I think this fight would do extremely well in Japan and we are pulling out all stops in trying to bring it there,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Since winning Olympic gold in 2012, Ryota has developed a rabid fan base in Japan and we think those fans deserve to see their hero fight for his first professional world title. It would be a sensational event in Japan.”
N’Dam (35-2, 21 KOs), a native of Cameroon who fights out of Pantin,Seine-Saint-Denis, France, and a two-time world title challenger, regained the interim WBA middleweight crown for a second time on December 17, scoring a devastating first-round knockout of undefeated defending champion Alfonso Blanco in what many consider the Knockout of the Year for 2016.
Murata (12-0, 9 KOs), from Tokyo, Japan, won all four of his 2016 bouts by knockout in fights that took place in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Tokyo. The six-foot fighter captured the Olympic gold medal in the middleweight division at the 2012 Olympics held in London. It was the first gold medal won by a Japanese boxer since Takao Sakurai in 1964, and also is the first-ever boxing medal in a weight class other than bantamweight or flyweight. Murata also became the 100th gold medalist in Japanese Olympic history.