LOS ANGELES: Ryota Murata, who last year won Japan’s first boxing gold medal at the Olympics in 48 years, has signed with promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank organization, the group announced.
More details will be revealed soon at a formal announcement of the deal, including plans for the middleweight fighter’s professional debut, expected to be later this year.
Murata’s 14-13 victory over Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao last August made him the 100th gold medal winner in Japanese Olympic history with the first boxing gold for Japan since Takao Sakurai won bantamweight gold at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
The victory by Murata, 27, produced the first boxing medal for Japan outside the bantamweight or flyweight classes.
Murata also finished second in the 2011 world amateur championships at Baku, Azerbaijan.