Pure gold: Ryota Murata to fight on the undercard of ‘Clash of Champions’ featuring Rex Tso
London Olympic Games champion will make his Hong Kong debut in May as tickets go on sale on Thursday for the Wonder Kid’s first fight of 2016
London Olympic Games gold medallist Ryota Murata of Japan will fight on the undercard of Rex Tso Sing-yu’s next bout in May, providing an unexpected boost to “Clash of Champions”.
Murata (9-0-0, 6 KOs), whose good looks and natural boxing abilities have made him the poster boy of Japanese boxing, will be looking to extend his unbeaten professional record in the middleweight division as he takes on Brazilian fighter Felipe Santos Pedroso (13-1-0, 11 KOs) at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 14.
“Murata is bound to stir a lot of interest in our event as he’s very well known in the boxing world,” said Jay Lau Chi-yuen, whose DEF promotions is co-promoting the event with Top Rank.
“Murata has movie-star looks and will win a lot of fans with his skills, too. I’m sure he will be a favourite among female fans. Murata is hoping to get a world title shot in the future,” added Lau.
Murata last fought on the undercard of Zou Shiming’s comeback fight in Shanghai in January, knocking out Gaston Alejandro Vega of Argentina in the second round. The 30-year-old, who hails from Tokyo, is ranked fifth in the World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings in a division dominated by Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
Murata has fought in Macau and the United States, too, where he was on the undercard of the Timothy Bradley-Brandon Rios (Bradley won by ninth-round TKO) fight in Las Vegas last November.
Tso will be the main star of the show in “Clash of Champions” though as the Wonder Kid looks to keep his perfect record (18-0-0, 11 KOs) intact. The 28-year-old super flyweight will challenge South Korea’s 36-year-old veteran Young Gil-bae in a 12-round contest in the Hong Kong star’s first fight of the year.
Victory against Young will put the unbeaten southpaw in the firing line against WBA No 2 ranked Norasing Kokietgym (18-0-1, 13 KOs) of Thailand in September also in Hong Kong. Tso, who last fought against Australia’s Brad Hore, winning in a seventh-round TKO last August, hopes to line up a world title fight against Japan’s Kohei Kono, the WBA super flyweight champion, in December.
Tickets for “Clash of Champions” will go on sale on Thursday. Prices range from HK$380 to HK$2,880 for ringside seats. Organisers are confident that all 2,850 seats will be sold out. There will be about 1,000 more seats provided compared to Tso’s last fight at the same venue last August.