Could We See Canelo Alvarez Next Face Ryota Murata in Japan?
3KingsBoxing has learned discussions are taking place for a fight between WBA Middleweight “Super” champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1, 36 KO) and WBA “Regular” champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) for May of 2020.
The fascinating subplot is that a fight between these two could very well take place… in Japan according to multiple Japanese sources!
How It All Started
The roots of this possible fight goes back to December 23, 2019, following Murata’s win over Steven Butler in Yokohama, Japan. Afterward, Bob Arum, co-promoter of Murata expressed a desire to pit Murata in a big fight against the likes of Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin.
Word got stronger on Jan. 13th when Japanese online media publication Sponichi Annex quoted Arum stating that he is active negotiations to make that bout happen.
(Loosely translated) “I reiterated that I was negotiating with Alvarez. The target is Canelo. I hope for the Tokyo Dome in May. If implemented, it will take place on Sunday afternoon in Japan time and will be broadcast during prime time in the United States.”
The Real Possibility of It Happening
Murata is signed to Top Rank/ESPN while “Canelo” is signed with DAZN. So you would think there would be a lot of red tape that needs to be cut through. Although, the two networks did hold a high profile unification bout at junior welterweight between Maurice Hooker (Matchroom/DAZN) and Jose Ramirez (Top Rank/ESPN) in 2019.
Nevertheless, the key to this fight happening could be Fuji TV.
For those unaware, Fuji is a Japanese network that has an exclusive contract with Murata. However, the network has a business relationship with both Top Rank and DAZN having worked with Arum for Murata’s fight with Butler as well as DAZN for the Nov. 7th bout between Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire.
A more than plausible scenario would be for Fuji TV to have terrestrial rights locally in Japan, while either DAZN or Top Rank could share broadcast distribution rights to distribute the broadcast online worldwide. That would expand the viewing audience into hundreds of millions. And here’s the kicker, fans viewing would have the option to watch however they choose.
A Worldwide Event
Should this become a reality, be clear this fight would have a world-scale impact. Having made the 2019 Forbes list as among the highest-paid athletes in the world, Alvarez is currently the face of boxing.
When it comes to boxing in Japan, Murata (not Naoya Inoue) is the most popular boxer in the country. The 34-year-old Tokyo resident regularly draws 10-15 million television viewers for his fights and is the most popular figure in the country since former Flyweight and Bantamweight great “Fighting” Harada.
Now We Wait
At this point nothing is finalized and no official announcement has been made. However, you would have to think that with all the talk there is something brewing. This is boxing where it’s all about the C.R.E.A.M. (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me” -Wu Tang Clan).
When there’s smoke there’s fire and with all the scuttlebutt you would have Alvarez – Murata in Japan is a real possibility.
As always, stay tuned to 3KingsBoxing for any and all future developments.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.