London champ Murata stays undefeated as pro

London Olympic champion Ryota Murata remained unbeaten as a pro, pounding out a unanimous decision over American Jessie Nicklow in a non-title middleweight fight at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym on Tuesday.

Murata, ranked No. 9 by the WBC, used an effective left jab and powerful combinations to improve to 6-0 in the 10-round bout that was part of the card of a world title fight tripleheader.

It was Murata's second straight fight that went the distance after he won his first four bouts by knockout.

"After my last fight, I was worn out after four rounds, but this time I was able to maintain the pace up to the end," Murata said. "I was testing different types of punches."

Murata did not go away unscathed, suffering deep cuts both above and below his left eye when the fighters' heads butted in the sixth round. Late in the bout that had no knockdowns, Nicklow (24-5-3 with 8 KOs) even taunted Murata to bring it on.

Meanwhile, Teiken Gym chairman Akihiko Honda said that Murata's next fight will likely be in the spring in the United States against a world-ranked opponent.Speech