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Former WBA middleweight champ Ryota Murata plans to continue fighting

Kyodo

Ryota Murata, who lost his WBA middleweight title in October, announced Tuesday that he will continue his career.

After losing by unanimous decision to American Rob Brant in his second title defense, the 32-year-old Murata said he would consider whether to keep boxing or retire.

“I questioned if I would be alright with that bout being the culmination of my career when I looked back at my life,” Murata said. “I want to be a boxer who can compete at the world level once again. I can’t finish like this.”

Murata was pummeled by his speedier opponent in the Oct. 20 fight at the Park Theater in Las Vegas, saying it was the first time he had “taken such a beating.”

In his first world title match, Brant dominated the fight and threw 500 more punches than Murata. The head of Murata’s Teiken gym, Akihiko Honda, conceded Murata had been ill-prepared for the fight after preparations were slowed when he came down with a fever.

“After the bout, I was 98 percent sure that I would quit,” Murata said. “I was just so disappointed in my boxing. I didn’t land a single blow that could have turned the bout around.”

Murata, the 2012 Olympic middleweight gold medalist, became the first Japanese champion in both professional and amateur competitions after claiming the WBA middleweight title last year in a rematch against France’s Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

In his pro career, Murata is 14-2 (11 knockouts).