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Avila Perspective, Chap 55: Japan Calling, Mioletti, and Competing Cards

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap 55: Japan Calling, Mioletti, and Competing Cards

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    By David A. Avila

    Japan’s revered Ryota Murata entered the Park Theater to a large contingent of Japanese fans who traveled across the Pacific Ocean to see him vanquish the American in Las Vegas. That was last October.

    An expected victory for Murata meant a ticket to face Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in a massive fight at the Tokyo Dome. All the pieces were in place and it seemed a mere formality to see the Japanese fighter’s hand raised at the end.

    After 12 shocking rounds little known Rob Brant out-boxed, out-foxed and out-fought Murata and the expected coronation turned into a curtain dropping flop.

    Here we are eight months later on the other side of the Pacific. Does geography make a difference?

    Murata (14-2, 11 KOs) now challenges WBA middleweight titlist Brant (25-1, 17 KOs) on Friday, July 12, at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan. It’s not the Tokyo Dome but an expected sold out crowd of 8,000 should fill it up. ESPN+ will stream live.

    Excuses and rationalizations were not spouted by Murata who won an Olympic gold medal in 2012. But losing to Brant was clearly not expected.

    "Rob Brant beat me fair and square, but I am ready to get revenge,” Murata, 33, said.

    Brant, 28, a seemingly always smiling fighter out of Dallas, Texas, expected this rematch and expects a better performance from Murata.

    "I am very excited to be defending my title in Japan against Ryota Murata. Ever since I beat him for the belt, I have always known this fight was on the horizon,” Brant said. “I feel Murata is only at his full potential while in front of his people.”

    In their first encounter Brant surprised Murata with his ability to avoid big blows and when they did land the American shrugged them off. Offensively the Japanese slugger was unable to fend off the overwhelming and unorthodox attacks by Brant. Though never seemingly hurt by the blows, Murata never could mount a consistent attack and lost by unanimous decision. Some rounds were seemingly close.

    “I want to show everyone the real Ryota Murata and regain my world title in spectacular fashion. I took some time off after my last fight, but I never lost my fighting desire. In fact, I am more motivated than ever,” Murata said.

    Brant relishes the opportunity.

    “This fight is me showing the world that I can bring my full potential with me wherever I go,” he said.

    Will Japanese home cooking prove the difference?

    For those living in the West Coast this fight card begins at 4 a.m. PT. pm ESPN+. If it’s anything close to their first encounter it should be a bloody and bruising rematch.

    Giovanni Mioletti

    A Midwest prodigy, Giovanni Mioletti, will be in a battle of undefeated super featherweights when he meets Ecuador’s Luis Porozo on Friday July 12, at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. Showtime will televise.

    Mioletti (16-0, 7 KOs) is a 24-year-old southpaw from Chicago and has a few victories over solid competition including wins over Recky Dulay and Roberto Meza. He meets Porozo (14-0, 7 KOs), 29, a late bloomer, who began prizefighting a mere three and a half years ago.

    It’s the type of battle that draws fans to watch when you have undefeated prospects willing to face each other. A victory moves them through the door to contention and that’s exactly what prizefighting is all about.

    Competing Cards

    While WBC super bantamweight titlist Rey Vargas clashes with Japan’s Tomoki Kameda in Los Angeles, on the other side of the US on Saturday a featherweight clash pits former Olympian Shakur Stevenson against Alberto Guevara in New Jersey.

    Once again promoters face off.

    Top Rank’s Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs) and his wealth of talent defends his regional titles against late replacement Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs) of Mexico who hopes to put up enough of a challenge. ESPN will televise the fight but don’t expect it to last.

    Stevenson, 22, exudes talent and has quickly picked up the professional style of fighting after years of amateur boxing. It’s not easy to do. I truly do not expect any featherweight to prove a challenge unless he fights Leo Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Jr. And that’s not going to happen with this Top Rank fighter, at least not any time soon.

    In the Los Angeles area, Golden Boy Promotions will be pitting its prospects to the test especially with Diego De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs) meeting Ronny Rios (30-3, 14 KOs) in a featherweight clash set for 10 rounds at Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly named the StubHub Center. DAZN will stream the card.

    De La Hoya has had problems making weight and Rios has made one failed attempt at a world title and now tests the cousin of the boss Oscar De La Hoya. Sometimes styles make fights and both fighters are well schooled. De La Hoya is 24 and Rios 29.

    Another battle of Golden Boy prospects pits Joet Gonzalez (22-0, 13 KOs) against Manuel Avila (23-1-1, 8 KOs) in another 10-round featherweight battle.

    Northern California’s Avila had problems in his last fight against Mexico’s Jose Santos Gonzalez who took the fight inside and wouldn’t allow breathing room. It ended in a draw. Before that, Avila lost to Jojo Diaz and that’s not an embarrassment.

    Southern California’s Gonzalez had problems with Mexico’s Rafael Rivera a year ago but won an extremely close split decision. But at the time nobody knew much of Rivera who would later battle featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz for 12 rounds last February. Gonzalez has eliminated his last two foes by knockout.

    Akhmadaliev to fight WBA champ Danny Roman

    WBA and IBF super bantamweight titlist Danny Roman will be fighting number one contender of the WBA Murodjon Akhmadaliev by September 30, 2019. A purse bid was held in Panama City on Tuesday and was won by World of Boxing.

    World champion Roman is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions. The challenger Akhmadaliev has defeated two fighters from those co-promoters by knockout. Last November he stopped Isaac Zarate and this past April knocked out Carlos Carlson.

    Roman captured the IBF title to add to the WBA super bantamweight title with a thrilling clash against TJ Doheny that could easily be a candidate for Fight of the Year this past April. He has quickly become one of boxing’s most exciting fighters.

    Fights to watch

    Fri. July 12, 4 a.m. PT on ESPN+ - Rob Brant (25-1) vs Ryota Murata (14-2), Ken Shiro (15-0) vs. Jonathan Taconing (28-3-1).

    Fri. July 12, Showtime 7 p.m. PT - Giovanni Mioletti (16-0) vs. Luis Porozo (14-0).

    Fri. July 12, Telemundo, 11 p.m. PT – Derrick Cuevas (21-0-1) vs Jesus Beltran (17-2-2).

    Sat. July 13, DAZN 4 p.m. PT – Rey Vargas (33-0) vs Tomoki Kameda (36-2)

    Sat. July 13, ESPN 5 p.m. PT – Shakur Stevenson (11-0) vs. Alberto Guevara (27-4).

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Shakur vs. Tank is what I want to see.


    • #3
      Miloletti is someone to keep an eye on. But don't dismiss Porozo in this fight (and if you look just the odds you may be quick to do so). He does have solid amateur pedigree that includes Olympic experience. That said, Miloletti should win but I am tempted to lay a few bucks on Porozo as the odds for this one are severely out of whack.