The Middleweight Unification Fight Between Gennady Golovkin & Ryota Murata is a Done Deal
There have been rumblings throughout 2021 of a unification middleweight contest between IBF world middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) and WBA ‘super’ world titlist Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) by the end of the year. Yet, there was no official announcement. It looks like that’s about to change!
According to ESPN, the two world champions have agreed to a deal. The fight will happen on December 29th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, with a formal announcement coming next week.
A key to making this fight a reality was Golovkin amending his deal with DAZN. When the now 39-year old signed a six-year, $100 million contract with the streaming service in 2019, it was contingent on landing a third fight against rival “Canelo” Alvarez. However, a trilogy has yet to materialize. Therefore, “GGG” had to agree to an amended deal with DAZN. Now that both parties are copacetic, the fight is a go.
By far, this will be the biggest fight of Murata’s career. A subplot is that for the 35 year-old resident of Tokyo, Japan, he’s coming off the biggest layoff as a pro. His last fight was in December 2019, when he disposed of Steven Butler in five rounds.
As inactive as Murata has been, it’s not like Golovkin has been in the ring regularly himself. Since a rematch loss to Alvarez in September 2018, the IBF middleweight champ has fought three times in three years since. His last bout was a seventh-round stoppage win over overmatched Kamil Szeremeta in December of 2020.
HUGE FOR JAPAN
The biggest winner could well be Japan. It’s considered a coup for an international figure like Golovkin to fight there. The country likes to host a series of super-cards featuring domestic world champions to close out the year.
In what may be surprising to some, Murata is the most popular and visible fighter in Japan. The former 2012 Olympic gold medalist is a superstar whose reach and visibility go beyond the boxing ring. This fight will be the biggest boxing event in Japan in years! Stay tuned to 3KingsBoxing for further updates.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.