The unification clash between Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin and Ryota Murata was scheduled for Saturday.
A day after turning 40, IBF champion Golovkin will face off with WBA gold medalist Murata for the WBA belt.
GGG has a realistic chance of fighting Canelo Alvarez again in September if he fulfills that promise.
Next month, Alvarez faces WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. The pair fought the first time around and Alvarez earned a controversial draw. Then he defeated Golovkin by a close decision in their second meeting.
Live round-by-round updates and commentary are provided by The Sporting News for GGG vs. Murata.
GGG vs. Murata live updates, highlights from the IBF & WBA middleweight title unification (all times BST)
10:20am: So, if Murata enters the ring in the mood he did against Brant, there’s sure to fireworks. It might not be a particularly good idea against one of the most formidable punchers of this and any era and the home favourite looks particularly open to Golovkin’s left hook. But if GGG continues to look his age a little bit – there have been signs of decline since the Canelo fights – then such an all-action foe could make it a very uncomfortable night.
On the other hand, Murata was a passive foe during his loss to Brant and is 36 himself. Ring rust and how well each man deals with that respectively looks set to be a huge factor here.
10:00am: Here’s Murata’s win in his rematch with Brant, which heralded his second reign as WBA champion after similarly avenging a loss to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam by stoppage in 2017.
9:40am: Hoping to throw a spanner in the works is Murata, Japan’s 2012 Olympic champion who has endured a professional career hindered by inactivity. He’s been out of the ring even longer than Golovkin, having not boxed since a five-round win over Steven Butler in December 2019.
That bout came five months after Murata thrillingly regained his title with a round two TKO victory over American Rob Brant, who claimed a wide unanimous decision in their initial encounter.
9:20am: How did you spend the day after your 40th birthday? Did you sleep off the hangover, maybe go out for a nice leisurely walk and a spot of dinner. Well, Gennadiy Golovkin isn’t like most of us. A day into his fifth decade, the Kazakh hero will put his IBF middleweight title on the line against Japan’s WBA champion Ryota Murata in Saitama.
It is Golovkin’s first bout since stopping Kamil Szeremeta in December 2020 and GGG will hope to overcome any ring rust quickly given what’s at stake. If he can win and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez does likewise against Dmitry Bivol next month then the two rivals will be on a collision course for a third meeting later in the year.
9:00am: Hello and welcome to our live round-by-round coverage of Gennadiy Golovkin’s ring return against home favourite Ryota Murata in Saitama, Japan.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 8, 2022
How to watch GGG vs. Murata
- TV channels/live stream: DAZN
The prelims and the main card for Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata will be available through the DAZN app.
Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin record, bio
- Nationality: Kazakhstani
- Born: April 8, 1982
- Height: 5-10
- Reach: 70 inches
- Total fights: 43
- Record: 41-1-1 (36 KOs)
Ryota Murata record, bio
- Nationality: Japanese
- Born: Jan. 12, 1986
- Height: 6-0
- Reach: 75 inches
- Total fights: 18
- Record: 16-2 (13 KOs)
GGG vs. Murata fight card
- Gennadiy Golovkin (c) vs. Ryota Murata (c) for the WBA, IBO, and IBF middleweight titles
- Shuichiro Yoshino (14-0 vs. Masayuki Ito (27-3-1); lightweights
- Junto Nakatani (22-0) vs. Ryota Yamaguchi (8-1) for the WBO flyweight title
- Kazuki Anaguchi (1-0) vs. Ryuji Yamamoto (6-1); super bantamweights
- Hiroka Amaki (debut) vs. Taiga Kato (debut); welterweights