Video by Ryan Burton
Ryota Murata, one of Japan’s most revered sporting heroes, is ready to make his debut as a Las Vegas headliner. (photos by Mikey Williams).
Murata (14-1, 11 KOs), a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, will defend his WBA middleweight title against Rob “Bravo” Brant (23-1, 16 KOs), Saturday at MGM’s Park Theater. In the co-feature, Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev (11-0, 10 KOs) will defend the NABF super lightweight belt in a 10-rounder versus former world champion Antonio DeMarco (33-6-1, 24 KOs).
Murata-Brant and Dadashev-DeMarco will stream live in the United States beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
The entire undercard will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET and includes the return of Michael “Mick” Conlan (8-0, 5 KOs), the Irish sensation who will face Nicola Cipolletta (14-6-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout. Also on the card is Conlan’s 2016 Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin (1-0), who will take on Clay Burns (5-4-2, 4 KOs) in a six-rounder at featherweight. It was Nikitin who won a controversial decision over Conlan in the 2016 Olympic quarterfinals.