Murata resumes training with focus on getting better


Ryota Murata said in a positive tone that the only thing he did not earn in his first world title shot was the belt, adding that he believes he did not lose anything.

On Thursday, two-and-a-half weeks since his controversial loss to interim champion Hassan N’Dam in a WBA middleweight world title bout at Ariake Colosseum, the 31-year-old Murata resumed training for the first time at his Teiken gym.

Murata lost by split decision to the Cameroonian-French, with many people around the world criticizing the scoring. But he has not cursed at anyone, saying the result is beyond his control.

Murata returned to the gym with a positive, forward-looking attitude.

“The judges did what judges do, and people made a lot of comments on the fight,” Murata said before his training. “But I’m only thinking of what I should do to get stronger. Judging is not my job.”

The Nara native said that though he took his first professional loss, he gained valuable experience during the fight. More importantly, he was able to measure himself as a pro fighter.

“I wasn’t sure how good I was and how well I would fare at the global level (before the N’Dam match),” said Murata, whose record as a pro is 12-1 (nine knockouts). “I’d say maybe I was 70 percent sure how good I was.

“But now, through the fight, I’ve gotten to know things like, ‘I could’ve done this, I should’ve done this.’ There’s a lot of things that I’ve had to reflect on.

“The only disappointment that I had was the fact that I didn’t end up getting the belt in my hands. Yet there was nothing that I feel slipped out of my hands. There were only gains for me.”

Murata believes that he will develop further as a boxer by overcoming the issues he experienced against N’Dam.

Some experts said that Murata did not attempt to finish off N’Dam when he had chances late in the bout, which could have led to the split decision.

Murata thinks that his team’s overall fight plan wasn’t wrong. But he understood afterward that he needs to develop a killer instinct for the future.

“In the fifth, seventh and ninth rounds, I gave him damage that almost knocked him down,” said Murata, the middleweight gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. “But I did not go (further).

“It probably came from my respect for him that I knew that he would come right back at you, punching even right after he gets some damage. But looking back, I probably should’ve gone for (a knockout).”

Murata added: “Maybe I wasn’t ready (because) I didn’t have enough stamina to do it. But whether it’s against N’Dam or anyone else, I’ve got to be able to attack when I have a chance.”

Sendai Tanaka, Murata’s trainer, said that his team “did everything it could possibly do” for him for the world title match, adding that he is absolutely certain that Murata has potential to develop into a better boxer.

Teiken president Tsuyoshi Hamada said that Murata’s future schedule is currently “up in the air.” But he, too, has faith that the boxer can get better by polishing all of his skills.

Murata said with a smile that he is “a boxing fanatic,” admitting he is interested in fighting against boxers from around the world. He also knows how hard it is to secure a bout in his weight class and is not going to say who he hopes to face.

“To realize a world title fight for me, it required a great amount of effort,” Murata said. “So I can’t easily say, ‘I want to fight this guy.’ I’ll fight anyone I’m given and I’ll just do the best I can given the circumstances.”

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