With Saul "Canelo" Alvarez formally vacating the middleweight division, Japan's Ryota Murata was promoted by the WBA from regular champion to super champion. The move wass made by a resolution of the Championships Committee, issued on January 5th. Murata, who was the WBA's secondary 160-pound champion since July 2019 when he defeated Rob Brant in a rematch, is a 2102 Olympic gold medal winner. [With Murata now a super champion, can a new WBA regular champion be far behind?]
According to the WBA announcement: "Based on rule C.18, which states that the President and the Championships Committee may recognize a fighter as a super champion under special circumstances, the WBA considers Murata’s career and record as a meritorious circumstance for the appointment. Murata’s appointment will not generate too many changes in the rankings and it is done to give dynamism and activity to the division. The only relevant change is that Murata’s nine-month mandatory defense period will be extended to eighteen months.
Murata, who is 34 years old, has a record of 16 wins and 2 losses, and 13 KOs in his professional career.