Gennadiy Golovkin and Ryota Murata won’t take interim bouts before meeting on Dec.28th in Japan
By Allan Fox: IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) and WBA champ Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) won’t be taking interim bouts before they meet on December 28th on DAZN at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Dan Rafael reports that Golovkin, 39, and Murata, 35, won’t take interim fights due to the risk of injuries, as well as “not a lot of enthusiasm from DAZN.”
Rather than fight an interim bout in August or September, Golovkin and WBA 147lb champion Murata will sit and wait five months before fighting on December 28th.
Golovkin fighting only once in 2021
This will be the only fight for Golovkin and Murata in 2021, but it will be worth it for them. The money will be excellent for both, and Golovkin won’t use up one of his valuable fights on his six-fight contract with DAZN facing another fodder-level opponent, as we saw in his last fight against Kamil Szeremeta.
Golovkin currently has three fights remaining on his six-fight contract with DAZN. He likely is hoping that one of two that he’ll have remaining after the Murata fight in December will be against Canelo Alvarez.
If not Canelo, Golovkin will need to decide whether to take a risk by fighting WBC 160-lb champion Jermall Charlo or WBO champion Demetrius Andrade. Both guys have been transparently open about wanting to fight Golovkin, and DAZN would likely love those fights.
GGG is still under contract with DAZN, and if he were to take an interim fight, they would likely want to see him fight a good opponent that fans would be interested in.
Another tune-up level fight for Golovkin wouldn’t be good for DAZN, who have already see Golovkin take tune-ups against Kamil Szeremeta and Steve Rolls as part of his contract with them.
It’s debatable how much interest there will be from American boxing fans in a fight between Golovkin and Murata. What the fight has going for it is that it’s a unification bout at 160, and fans typically like those matches.
Murata is not well known in the U.S
But on the flipside, Murata is a belt-holder, he’s not well known, and when he fought in the U.S in 2018, he shockingly got beaten by the fringe contender Rob Brant.
So for the hardcore boxing fans in the States that remember seeing Murata loss to Brant and Hassan N’Dam, they’re not excited about seeing Golovkin fight this guy. It doesn’t matter that Murata is a world champion.
Murata is NOT someone American boxing fans are pushing for Golovkin to fight, and casual fans won’t be interested either.
They don’t know who Murata is, and they don’t care to know. Golovkin vs. Murata will be big in Japan, so it’s got that going for it, but not in the U.S. Fans wanted to see Golovkin fight Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade if he couldn’t get a trilogy match with Canelo.
Golovkin’s decision to choose Murata is viewed as cherry-picking, similar to his fights against Steve Rolls and Kamil Szeremeta.
Boxing fans are disappointed with the way Golovkin has backed off from fighting talented opposition since his loss to Canelo in 2018.
It’s unclear why Golovkin has stopped fighting the best since that defeat. Many fans think Golovkin is milking his contract with DAZN, taking easy fights in cashing out without risking another loss.
If Golovkin gets lucky, Canelo might decide to fight him in 2022 or 2023. I’m not counting on that happening, though.
Canelo would want to fight Golovkin if he’d stayed busy and continued to achieve the way he’s been. Golovkin hasn’t stayed busy, and the level of opposition he’s been facing since 2019 has been nothing short of disappointing.
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