By Ken Hissner: At the Super Arena, Saitama, Japan, Saturday over DAZN GGG promotions in the Main Event returning after 15 months in his twenty-first defense IBF and IBO World Middleweight champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, of KAZ in a war stopped game 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and WBA World Middleweight champion Ryota Murata, of Japan, in a unification bout in the ninth round dropping him with a right and left combination with the Murata corner throwing in the towel.
WBO World Flyweight champion Junto Nakatani stopped Ryota Yamauchi in eight rounds in the co-feature.
In the Main Event, IBF and IBO World champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, 42-1-1 (37), #160, of Karaganda, KAZ, and L.A., CA, stopped a formidable WBA World Middleweight champion Ryota Murata, 16-3 (13), #160, of Tokyo, Japan, scoring a knockdown in the ninth finishing off Murata in a scheduled 12 rounds.
Murata started fast in the first minute of the first round, but Golovkin’s jab took over, followed by good rights on the chin. Murata had a small cut on the bridge of his nose. In the second round, it was a good one for Murata with rights to the body of Golovkin.
After a minute, Murata hurt Golovkin with a left to the body in the third round. Golovkin came back well in the final minute but not enough to win the round.
In the fourth round, Golovkin drew blood from the nose of Murata. Overall, Murata continued to go to the body, hurting Golovkin and landing rights to the head, outworking Golovkin. In the fifth round, Golovkin started well in the first minute, but Murata took over the rest of the round. In the sixth round, after half a minute, a right from Golovkin knocked out the mouthpiece of Murata. He continued out, landing Murata until the halfway mark when Murata came back well but not enough to win the round.
In the seventh round, Golovkin got more offensive, hurting Murata and driving him to the ropes on several occasions. Golovkin dominated the first half in the eighth round, having Murata on the defense. Murata held his own in the rest of the round, doing well but not enough.
In the ninth round, Golovkin immediately hurt Murata with a right to the chin and almost had him stopped by the halfway mark. In the final minute, Murata came back well until a right and left on the chin dropped him, causing the corner of Murata to throw in the towel, causing referee Luis Pabon to wave it off.
Japanese Lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino, 15-0 (11), #134 ½, of Tokyo, JAP, won an action-packed technical decision over the former WBO World Super Feather champ Maysayuki Ito, 27-4-1 (15), #135, of Tokyo, JAP, in the eleventh round of a scheduled 12 rounds, for the WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF titles.
In the second round, Yoshino drew blood from the nose of Ito with a right hand. Ito was warned twice in the third round for hitting behind the head. Yoshino continued drawing blood from the nose of Ito with rights. Ito had his best round in the sixth round with good bodywork and counter headshots.
In the seventh round, the action got even better, with Yoshino doing well to the body of what has been an even fight halfway through. In the eighth round, a left hook from Yoshino opened up a cut under the left eye of Ito. In the ninth round, Ito came back well after losing the last three rounds but was cut over the left eye, which brought the ring physician in to check him.
In the eleventh round, a clash of heads caused by Yoshino brought a halt to the fight. Scores at the end were 107-102 twice and 106-103, which this writer had it.
WBO World Flyweight champ southpaw Junto Nakatani, 23-0 (18), #111 ¾, of Sagamihara, Kanadawa, JAP, stopped No. 2 ranked Ryota Yamauchi, 8-1 (7), #112, of Osaka, JAP, at 2:20 of the eighth round of a scheduled 12 rounds.
In the first rounds final twenty seconds, the taller Nakatani buckled the knees of Yamauchi with a left on the chin. In the last seconds, a left uppercut from Nakatani on the chin again hurt Yamauchi.
In the second round, Nakatani had the face of Yamauchi in bad shape with a possible broken nose from vicious headshots.
In the third round, Yamauchi kept coming forward, walking into power uppercuts from Nakatani, getting rocked with a little over a minute left in the round and again in the final twenty seconds.
In the fourth round, Yamauchi landed his first solid punch, a lead right on the chin of Nakatani. The rest of the way, Nakatani picked Yamauchi apart, especially with right uppercuts on the chin.
In the fifth round, Nakatani decided to stay inside, not moving around the ring, giving Yamauchi a chance to score punches.
In the second half of the round, Nakatani started back to his moving style, getting the better of Yamauchi. Yamauchi did much holding in the sixth round, with Nakatani still punching him to the head.
In the seventh round, Yamauchi continued holding quite a bit with his face swelling, especially under the left eye. Nakatani hurt Yamauchi near the final minute with a left straight down the middle on the chin. In the eighth round, in the last minute, Nakatani had Yamauchi hurt badly with lefts on the chin and right uppercuts on the chin causing the referee Nakamura to call a halt wisely.