By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Japanese prospect Ryota Murata, 2012 Olympic gold medalist, will make his ambitious shot at the vacant WBA middleweight belt against interim titlist Hassan N’Dam N’jikam, from France, on this coming Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
We adopted culture and letters from China some thousand years ago, and every Chinese letter has its own meaning. Murata means “village field”, while Koizumi “small fountain.” The name of Murata, however, now indicates special meanings in the boxing world here in Japan, that is, Expectation, Hope and/or Prospect.
Having entered May, we very frequently see many articles on Murata in every sports paper, and lately see big topics on Ryota in all newspapers. In great many railway trains and stations we watch eye-catching posters and publicities that Murata will fight for the world championship and it will be shown by Fuji Television on Saturday night.
Ryota Murata has become one of the most famous celebrities here in Japan, and he is going to be the most known athlete day after day.
Murata received medical examination along with N’Dam today (Wednesday), and their physical data was as follows:
Height: Murata 182.8 cm; N’Dam 181.2 cm
Neck: Murata 41.2 cm; N’Dam 39.8 cm
Chest: Murata 98 cm; N’dam 95 cm
Reach: Murata 188 cm; N’Dam 187.5 cm
Will Murata become the first Japanese Olympic gold medalist that acquires the professional world belt? Time will tell.