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After monstrous Fuji TV ratings, Bob Arum wants Ryota Murata to fight at the Tokyo Dome

By Zach Arnold | October 25, 2017

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After blockbuster Fuji TV ratings were announced for WBA Middleweight champion Ryota Murata’s latest fight at Ryogoku Kokugikan, we predicted that Murata co-promoters Akihiko Honda & Bob Arum would aim for a big fight at the Tokyo Dome.

Right on cue, Bob Arum told the Japanese press that he is ready to go along with Teiken’s “Top of Top” marketing plan to have Ryota Murata fight Gennady Golovkin (or Canelo Alvarez) at the Tokyo Dome.

Fuji TV is back as a major power player

Ten years after the collapse of PRIDE, Fuji TV is in the driver’s seat for make a major fight with Ryota Murata happen in Japan.

Murata drawing a 20.5% overall rating on broadcast television is an NFL-sized rating that means there is significant room to generate tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship & rights fees to package a Japanese non-PPV TV fight. The money is now possible to achieve a Las Vegas-level pay day.

What makes Murata’s fast rise in Japan all the more impressive is that he gives his promoters (Mr. Honda & Mr. Arum) leverage to do business in Asia. That’s Bob’s bread-and-butter. Murata is now big-time in a heavyweight fight market. Big business can be done in Japan and it carries impact globally.

Mike Tyson fought twice at the Tokyo Dome. He fought Tony Tubbs and Buster Douglas. Booking a fight with Murata vs. Golovkin or Murata vs. Canelo Alvarez at the Tokyo Dome would likely sell 40,000+ tickets and be the biggest Japanese fight on broadcast television in decades.

What’s next?

Top Rank and Teiken Promotions want to get a couple of fights under Murata’s belt before they get to Golovkin. Canelo and Golovkin are going to re-match. If Golovkin wins, will his camp play it safe by wanting a Vegas fight or will they take the risk of fighting in Japan?

Undoubtedly, there is some risk involved in trying to plan 18 months in advance for a fight on paper that looks incredible.

Things are going very well right now for Top Rank. Ryota Murata, Terence Crawford, and Vasyl Lomachenko are all big bets for Bob Arum and he’s winning right now. Murata could end up being Top Rank’s crown jewel.

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