Golovkin gives Murata’s title back after stopping him
By Jack Tiernan: In a show of respect, Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin went to Ryota Murata’s dressing room after knocking him out tonight to give him back his WBA middleweight title that he’d won off him at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Murata gave Golovkin major problems in the first four rounds tonight in their 160-lb IBF & WBA unification fight. Golovkin had to make adjustments midway through the fight to rally in the second half of the contest to get the victory, but it was far from easy.
Scorecards at the time of the stoppage:
Despite a bad start through the first four rounds, Golovkin came on strong from the fifth, taking control of the contest with his powerful jab, right hand, and left hook, which rapidly took the fight out of the 36-year-old Murata.
IBF 160-lb champion Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) struggled early but came on in the second half to knock out Murata (16-3, 13 KOs) in the ninth round to capture his WBA title.
Inside the ring after the fight, Golovkin gave Murata his robe, which he put on and was still wearing inside the dressing room when GGG went there to give him back his title.
It’s unclear whether this means that Golovkin doesn’t want to keep Murata’s WBA title or if it was just a symbolic gesture. If Golvokin chooses to reject the WBA title, it would fall vacant or perhaps even be removed by the sanctioning body.
With his pressure and powerful right hand, Murata gave Golovkin his toughest fight in years. If not for Golovkin’s punch resistance, Murata would have had a shot at winning.
The way that Murata looked tonight, it’s hard not to see this guy beating all of the guys Canelo has beaten in the last two years to become the undisputed super middleweight champion.
Murata looks like a better fighter than Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, Rocky Fielding, and Callum Smith.
The World Boxing Association is consolidating its titles in each division. Erislandy Lara holds the WBA ‘regular’ middleweight title.
Golovkin will be moving up to super-middleweight to challenge undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez on September 17th if the Mexican star defeats WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7th.
Some boxing fans believe the 40-year-old Golovkin will retire if he loses to Canelo.
However, Golovkin would still have one more fight on his six-fight contract with DAZN after he faces Canelo, so it’s possible he’ll continue his career if he loses that fight.
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