Murata ponders retirement after London glory
TOKYO, Aug 27 — Japan's Olympic boxing gold medallist Ryota Murata is considering a future away from the sport after rejecting a lucrative offer to turn professional.
Murata ended Japan's 48-year wait for an Olympic boxing gold by winning the middleweight title in London earlier this month but now plans to take an extended break before deciding on his next move.
“It's the end of a chapter for me and boxing,” Murata told today's Nikkan Sports newspaper. “Basically I don't have plans to continue with my career.
“I'm a person who has already quit once and came back,” added the 26-year-old, who briefly left the sport after failing to make the team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Offered a US$1 million contract to turn professional, Murata, who beat Brazil's Esquiva Falcao Florentino in the London final, plans instead to study sports science and foreign languages.
He was also far from enthusiastic over the possibility of going for a second gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, insisting he would rather coach future boxers.
“I'm not thinking about a return. There will be new, young boxers in Rio and I won't be of interest to the media,” said the native of Nara in western Japan. “I just want time off.” — Reuters