Brant-Murata rematch official for July 12 in Japan

1052657928.jpg.0 - Brant-Murata rematch official for July 12 in Japan

Brant upset Murata to win the WBA “world” middleweight title in October.

WBA “world” middleweight titleholder Rob Brant will rematch the man he took the belt from last October, and this time Brant will be going to Japan to face Ryota Murata.

The two have officially announced their fight at a press conference in Tokyo. The bout will be head at Edion Arena Osaka in, you guessed it, Osaka. The fight will air live in the United States, which will be early morning hours, on an ESPN platform to be announced.

Brant upset Murata to win the title by decision in Las Vegas on Oct. 20, giving Murata a beating and winning on scores of 118-110, 119-109, and 119-109. Initially, Murata wasn’t even going to seek his contractually obligated rematch with Brant, but the fight is worth money, particularly in Japan with the angle of the 2012 Olympic gold medalist seeking revenge.

Brant (25-1, 17 KO) last fought on Feb. 15 at home in Minnesota, beating Khasan Baysangurov via TKO in the 11th round of what had been a one-sided affair. Murata (14-2, 11 KO) hasn’t fought since losing to Brant; there had been pre-fight talk of Murata possibly facing Gennady Golovkin at the Tokyo Dome, and when Brant beat him, all of that was out the window.

With neither man having much by way of big money options or major fights readily available, the rematch simply makes sense, even if the first fight wasn’t particularly competitive.

If it weren’t this, Brant’s best option might have been someone like British champion Liam Williams or Euorpean champion Kamil Szeremeta. Most of the division’s big names are with DAZN, including all three major titleholders: Canelo Alvarez (WBC/WBA), Daniel Jacobs (IBF), and Demetrius Andrade (WBO). Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko are fighting with PBC. And past there, there just aren’t many real names at 160 right now.

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