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Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata agreed for Dec.28th in Kobe, Japan

Image: Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata agreed for Dec.28th in Kobe, Japan

By Allan Fox: IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin and WBA ‘Super World’ 160-lb champion Ryota Murata have agreed to a unification fight three months from now on December 28th in Kobe, Japan.

U.S boxing fans aren’t going to be excited at seeing Golovkin fight Murata, as it’s another mismatch against a weak fighter. Murata is viewed as a paper champion at 160 in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.

DAZN still needs to give their stamp of approval to the fight by signing off on it, according to Mike Coppinger. It’s not a dead certainty that DAZN will agree to the Golovkin vs. Murata fight, as it’s not expected to bring in many new subscribers to the streaming giant.

It’s another example of a poor fight for Golovkin along the lines of his recent fights with Kamil Szeremeta and Steve Rolls.

While the 35-year-old Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) holds the WBA ‘Super World’ middleweight title, he’s already beaten been beaten twice by lesser opposition in defeats against Hassan N’Dam and Rob Brant. Those were supposed to be gimmes for Murata, and shockingly he was beaten by both guys.

Although Murata did avenge his loss to Brant in July 2019 with a second round knockout, it was still embarrassing that he soundly beat him in their first fight.

Golovkin vs. Murata = Not a great fight for DAZN

What also makes the Golovkin-Murata fight one that would be a waste of time for DAZN to broadcast is the inactivity of Murata and GGG.

Image: Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata agreed for Dec.28th in Kobe, Japan

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata hasn’t fought in two years since beating Steven Butler by a fifth round knockout in December 2019 in the last defense of his WBA title.

As the saying goes, ‘Out of sight out of mind.’ The hardcore boxing fans have totally forgotten Murata, and the casual fans in the U.S have no clue who he is.

As a result, if DAZN agrees to broadcast the Golovkin vs. Murata fight, they’ll likely get few fans subscribing to watch it because it will not attract interest from American boxing fans.

Murata is essentially the same type of no-name opponent Golovkin has been fighting since he signed with DAZN in 2018. In three fights since inking with DAZN, Golovkin has fought these guys:

  • Steve Rolls
  • Sergiy Derevyanchenko
  • Kamil Szeremeta

Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko turned out to be a good fight, but GGG’s matches with Rolls and Szeremeta were a waste of time.

Not only were they non-competitive mismatches, but they didn’t attract a lot of interest from boxing fans because they saw the matches as non-competitive, and they had no idea who Rolls and Szeremeta were.

The fighters fans want to see Golovkin battle:

  • Jermall Charlo
  • Demetrius Andrade
  • Canelo Alvarez
  • David Benavidez
  • Chris Eubank Jr.
  • Erislandy Lara
  • Daniel Jacobs
  • Jaime Munguia
  • Caleb Plant

It’s unknown why the World Boxing Association hasn’t already stripped Murata of his title due to inactivity. When you have a champion sitting idle for close to two years, it’s not an excellent thing for contenders waiting in line for their title shot.

Golovkin’s inactivity/ lackluster opposition has hurt his career

Since losing to Canelo Alvarez in 2018, Golovkin has fought only three times against the Rolls above, Derevyanchenko and Szeremeta.

Because of GGG’s inactivity and less than stellar opposition in the last three years, you can argue that it’s hurt Golovkin’s popularity.

As such, the excitement that boxing fans once had about wanting to see Golovkin fight has waned because he’s not staying active and failing to fight high-quality opponents.

In hindsight, Golovkin shouldn’t have wasted time fighting Rolls and Szeremeta, as those were opponents who did nothing for his career. Derevyanchenko was an excellent option because Golovkin fought him for the vacant IBF title, and he has talent.

It won’t be surprising if DAZN rejects the Golovkin vs. Murata fight, as GGG has already had three less than exciting opponents since inking with them. Murata would be the fourth.

You can understand why DAZN would want to see Golovkin face someone that the U.S boxing fans want to see him fight.

Golovkin SHOULD fight Demetrius Andrade next

At this point, Golovkin needs to fight Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Jaime Munguia, or Erislandy Lara next. It would be very easy for Golovkin’s management to set up a fight with one of them, partially Andrade.

A fight between Golovkin and Andrade would attract more interest from U.S fans and bring in more new subscribers than a mismatch between GGG and Murata.

If this writer were with DAZN, he would veto the idea of Golovkin fighting Murata. That’s not worthy of a match being shown on DAZN, and it’s just another example of Golovkin fighting a lesser guy.

Murata would be a good option for Golovkin if he’d had two or three great fights for DAZN already. This would be a stay-busy fight for Golovkin to get some rest in a total mismatch.

But given that Golovkin has already been fighting poor opposition in Rolls, Szeremeta, and to some extent Derevyanchenko, there’s more expected of him now.

When you give the fans cheap liverwurst opposition over and over, they expect a filet mignon. In this case, DAZN should expect more from Golovkin by letting him know that they won’t sign off on his fight against Murata.

Golovkin should fight Andrade, Charlo, Benavidez or Munguia. Even Ronald Ellis would be a better opponent for Golovkin than Murata. Ellis would likely destroy Murata.

“Sources: Gennadiy Golovkin and Ryota Murata have agreed to a middleweight title unification bout Dec. 28 in Kobe, Japan. Sides are waiting for DAZN sign-off to push forward,” said @MikeCoppinger



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