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Japan's Murata avenges loss to Brant to regain WBA belt

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Ryota Murata, right, lands a punch against champion Rob Brant during their WBA middleweight title fight on Friday night in Osaka.

The Yomiuri Shimbun OSAKA — London Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata regained the WBA middleweight title with a second-round technical knockout of champion Rob Brant on Friday night in Osaka, avenging a loss to the American in October last year.

Murata, 33, scored a knockdown in the second round, then landed a painful right to the body. Eventually, Brant became woozy and the referee brought an end to the fight.

Murata, who improved to 15-2 with 12 knockouts since turning pro in 2013, had lost to Brant by unanimous decision in their last fight. Murata said he watched video of that defeat over and over as motivation, while formulating a strategy that would pay off in the rematch.

In another world title fight at Edion Arena Osaka, Ken Shiro successfully defended his WBC light flyweight title for a sixth time, stopping top-ranked challenger Jonathan Taconing of the Philippines with a fourth-round TKO. He is now 16-0 with nine knockouts.

Meanwhile, Satoshi Shimizu, a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, was dealt his first loss in nine pro fights. He lost by sixth-round TKO to the Philippines’ Joe Noynay for the WBO Asia Pacific super featherweight title. Speech

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