Gennadiy Golovkin stops Ryota Murata at war from Saitama

Gennadiy Golovkin, 40, survived an early challenge from Ryota Murata to collapse and stop the young fighter in round 9.

The day after his 40th birthday, Gennadiy Golovkin showed his stamina in a brutal war with Ryota Murata at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on April 9.

Golovkin (42-1-1, 36 KOs) fought in Murata’s backyard and stopped the 36-year-old via TKO in round 9, but it wasn’t easy for Golovkin.

The finish was classic Golovkin. Throughout the fight he wore Murata down and connected with a right hand that wobbled Murata and forced him to take a knee.

Murata’s corner (16-3, 13 KOs) knew his fighter was too damaged to continue and threw in the towel. Golovkin added Murata’s WBA belt to his claim to the middleweight crown, which includes the IBF and IBO belts.

Golovkin finished the show in impressive fashion, but Murata gave Golovkin some trouble early on.

Unlike most of Golovkin’s opponents, Murata went straight for Golovkin in the first round. The 6-foot Murata used its size and 5-inch reach advantage.

Gennadiy Golovkin dropped out and stopped Ryota Murata in round 9 to become a unified middleweight champion

Murata likely won several of the early rounds on the judges’ scorecards, but Round 6 served as a turning point in the battle.

Golovkin hit Murata with a right hand which sent Murata’s mouthpiece flying out of his mouth. The referee immediately stopped the action, but Golovkin continued his assault when the fight resumed.

Murata’s punching power decreased and Golovkin’s energy increased. Golovkin applied relentless pressure and systematically destroyed Murata.

It was a case of turn, don’t break for Golovkin. He took Murata’s best shots early but used his stamina to whittle Murata down.

With his win, Golovkin is in prime position for a trilogy fight with undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez has a two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing that starts against Dmitry Bivol May 7.

Golovkin fought Alvarez to a draw in 2017 and lost the 2018 rematch by majority decision. Both contests were close, but a trilogy match would be one of boxing’s greatest fights.

Golovkin did his part. Now it’s Alvarez’s turn to follow suit.

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