Brant dominated Murata last October to win the “regular” WBA middleweight belt
ESPN’s Steve Kim reports that Rob Brant will head to Osaka, Japan to make the second defense of his WBA middleweight title against the man he took that belt from, Ryota Murata, in “mid-July.”
There were talks of Brant (25-1, 17 KO) facing Jeff Horn in Australia, then of Murata (14-2, 11 KO) facing Horn instead when that didn’t pan out. According to Horn, he turned down a $2 million offer to fight Murata on July 12th in favor of helping his wife through the birth of their second child.
So now we get a rematch of last October’s huge upset in Las Vegas. Brant was only two fights removed from an uninspiring loss to Juergen Braehmer, but overwhelmed Murata with volume to take a unanimous decision and scuttle Top Rank’s plan to pit the Japanese Olympian against Gennady Golovkin. Murata has been out of action since, while Brant stopped previously unbeaten Khasan Baysangurov in February