Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata on December 29 in Saitama, Japan
Inactive middleweight champions Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) and Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) have agreed to a deal to fight Dec. 29 in a unification clash at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The fight was supposed to be officially announced next week, according to ESPN.
Murata lives in the nearby city of Tokyo, Japan, and he is watched by many people in that country whenever he fights. For this one, Golovkin will be there and will take advantage of Murata’s popularity. It’s unclear whether casual Japanese boxing fans are familiar with Golovkin. They may not be, but it won’t matter as they will log in to see Murata.
Golovkin, 39, should be paid well for this fight and he will likely win. This is not the fight American boxing fans want to see from GGG.
They want to see him fight talented opponents like Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo or David Benavidez. Murata is considered a belt holder and he is not highly rated.
This fight is a big deal in Japan because 35-year-old Murata is a big star, but unfortunately he’s not well known in the United States.
Many Americans know Murata for his losses to Rob Brand and Hassan N’Dam. Although 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata avenged his two losses, he failed to convince American fans.
Golovkin signed a colossal, six-fight $100 million deal with DAZN in 20019, according to Mike Coppinger, but the deal was changed. Part of the deal was that Golovkin would fight Canelo Alvarez in a trilogy, but that fight didn’t materialize as the Mexican star didn’t want to face GGG anymore.
It’s unclear why DAZN agrees to let Golovkin fight Murata. It doesn’t matter that Murata is world champion, because he’s arguably a stranger to American boxing fans, and no one is calling for this fight.
American fans aren’t asking to see Golovkin fight Murata, who hasn’t fought in two years since December 2019. Why the World Boxing Association hasn’t stripped Murata of his WBA 160-pound title due to inactivity is unknown. . For a champion to sit idle for two solid years, it’s confusing how the WBA would allow that.
DAZN better have Golovkin fight Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, Gabe Rosado, Jaime Munguia or Chris Eubank Jr. Golovkin is probably getting a lot of money from Japan for this fight. Therefore, it makes sense for him commercially.
Adding another title to Golovkin’s collection would only mean anything if he was ready to fight Charlo or Andrade, and so far he hasn’t seemed interested in doing so.
In the three fights Golovkin has had so far on his six-fight contract with DAZN, he has fought these less than stellar oppositions:
- Steve Rolls
- Sergiy Derevyanchenko
- Kamil Szeremeta
The big question is why did Golovkin agree to fight these guys over Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Chris Eubank Jr. or David Benavidez?
If you get paid a ton of money by DAZN, it makes sense to fight guys that the boxing public in the United States wants to see. Golovkin choosing Rolls, Derevhanchenko and Szeremeta as opponents was the equivalent of a dumpster fire. Who signed these terrible fights?
Golovkin hadn’t fought since December 2020 when he stopped IBF No. 1 mandatory Kamil Szeremeta in the seventh round in an extremely bad fight. Szeremeta looked worse than average, and it was shocking that the International Boxing Federation ranked him No.
In October 2019, Golovkin performed poorly defeating Sergiy Derevyhanchenko by a 12-round unanimous decision to win the vacant IBF middleweight title in what was supposed to be an easy fight for GGG.
Many boxing fans thought Golovkin should have lost that fight. Interestingly, Golovkin didn’t give Derevyanchenko a rematch to clear up the controversy over their fight results. Golovkin looked old and fired at Derevyanchenko while getting injured with a blow to the body and nearly fell.