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Gennadiy Golovkin battles Ryota Murata this Saturday, April 9th on DAZN – 5 am ET

Image: Gennadiy Golovkin battles Ryota Murata this Saturday, April 9th on DAZN - 5 am ET

By Sean Jones: IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) fights this Saturday night in a 12 round battle against WBA 160lb champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) LIVE on DAZN at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Murata is a tremendous star in Japan, and this is by far the biggest fight of his nine-year professional career. Sadly, up until now, the biggest name on Murata’s resume was Hassan N’Dam, who beat him in their first fight.

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Ryota’s best wins:

  • Hassan N’Dam
  • Rob Brant
  • Steven Butler

Losing a fighter in N’Dam’s class speaks volumes about Murata’stalent or lack thereof. Murata is a belt holder only because he beat N’Dam in their rematch.

One of the negatives about each division being watered down with numerous world titles is that you can weak champions that otherwise would have never won a world title in their careers.

You can argue that Murata is a perfect example of that. This guy would have been lost if he had to fight Demetrius Andrade for his WBA title in 2017 instead of Hassan N’Dam.

Golovkin says Canelo trilogy not guaranteed to happen

“It’s my lifestyle that allows me to keep on fighting, and I have not been a person that pushes me away from boxing,” said Gennadiy Golovkin to THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas about why he still is in the sport at his age.

“I continue to get in the ring and this is all due to my lifestyle and general approach. There are no guarantees this fight will take place,” said Golovkin about his trilogy match with Canelo.

“If this fight happens, excellent. If not, it’s still fine, it’s still great,” Golovkin continued about the Canelo trilogy fight. “I feel very calm about it. I feel it’s too early to discuss a fight with Canelo. Let’s get back to this question after the fight in Japan.

“Indeed, the next fight is a unification fight [against Murata], and I’m very excited about it because as you’ve learned from my interviews, it has been my goal to unify titles for a long time.

“I think it’s too early to talk about the next fight and the next step because we have to answer the next question of who’s holding the titles and how long have they been holding those titles?

“I hope it may happen before I turn 45 or 50, I don’t even know because I’ve wanted to unify, I wanted those fights. But those fights are not taking place, they’re not happening.

“With time, I’m hearing those calls from fighters louder and louder, but nothing is happening. I don’t even know how to plan for anything,” said Golovkin.

“Of course, we should pay attention to Murata’s achievements and the fact that the fight is going to take place in Japan,” said Gennadiy. “We’re going to Japan and Japan is the land of surprises.

“You know what happened in Japan in the past, which makes it even more interesting,” said GGG.

The 40-year-old Golovkin will be making a rare appearance, fighting for the first time in 16 months against the 36-year-old Murata, who hasn’t fought in 28 months since December 2018.

I think boxing fans get the picture of what this fight is all about. On paper, Golovkin vs. Murata is a 160-lb unification fight, but it’s more about it being a business-level fight.

Both fighters will make a lot of money in Japan and from DAZN, but it’s hard to take it seriously as being a true unification clash due to the inactivity of both champions.

Golovkin and Murata are still considered middleweight champions by the sanctioning bodies, but it’s difficult to see them as such given their inactivity.

You can argue that they would have done the contenders in the IBF & WBA division a huge solid if they’d vacated their titles so that they could have fought for the belts instead of sitting on them without making defenses for 16 to 28 months.

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While the Golovkin-Murata fight hasn’t registered with U.S boxing, it does hold meaning for what could happen later this year in a possible trilogy match between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez on September 17th.

It remains to be seen if Golovkin and Canelo will fight in September, as that still requires that they both win their next contests.

Golovkin should be able to get by the slow, robotic 36-year-old Murata, who looked horrendously bad in losing to Hassan N’Dam and Rob Brant in the past.

Given Golovkin’s inactivity, age, and lack of quality opposition faced in the last four years, you can’t rule out a victory for Murata.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata can punch, and we saw how tough of a time Golovkin had against a glacially slow Sergiy Derevyanchenko in 2019.

In terms of hand speed, Murata is the equivalent of Derevanchenko, but with a lot more power. One big difference between those two is that Derevyanchenko is a better body puncher, and that’s what he used to give Golovkin problems.

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