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Ryota Murata, Hassan N'Dam Japanese boxer to face Frenchman for WBA crown

The 31-year-old's first title shot will take place in Tokyo on May 20 against the veteran Cameroon-born Frenchman.

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Japan's London Olympic champion Ryota Murata (C) will fight with Cameroon-born Frenchman Hassan N'Dam for the vacant World Boxing Association middleweight crown in May play

Japan's London Olympic champion Ryota Murata (C) will fight with Cameroon-born Frenchman Hassan N'Dam for the vacant World Boxing Association middleweight crown in May

(GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File)

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Japan's London Olympic champion Ryota Murata will fight Hassan N'Dam for the vacant World Boxing Association middleweight crown next month, his gym said Monday.

The 31-year-old's first title shot will take place in Tokyo on May 20 against the veteran Cameroon-born Frenchman, who is ranked number one by the WBA.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to fight for the middleweight crown here in Japan," Murata told reporters.

"I expect a very tough fight but I want to leave everything out there and return the blessing of having won an Olympic gold medal."

Japan's only previous middleweight world champion was Shinji Takehara, who won the WBA title in 1995.

But the 33-year-old N'Dam, a former World Boxing Organisation champion who has compiled a record of 35 wins, 21 of them by knockout, against two losses, will provide a strn test for Murata.

The Japanese star, who fights out of Tokyo's Teiken Gym, has won all 12 of his professional bouts, including nine by KO.

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