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Ryota Murata-Gennadiy Golovkin Fight Back On, Set for April 9

The rescheduled middleweight title bout, originally scheduled for last December in Saitama, was postponed due to the Omicron outbreak.

Ryota Murata and Gennadiy "GGG" Golovkin will square off at Saitama Super Arena on April 9. (ⒸSANKEI)

Ryota Murata vows to triumph in his long-awaited return to the ring on April 9.

The Japanese WBA middleweight champion is set to take on IBF and IBO title holder Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin in a rescheduled title unification bout at Saitama Super Arena. Teiken Promotions, Inc., GGG Promotions and sports streaming service DAZN announced the blockbuster fight’s new date on Thursday, March 3.

The veteran boxers have a combined 61 pro fights. For Murata, facing Golovkin is a big deal.

"It is an honor to share the ring with the great champion Gennadiy Golovkin," said Murata, the 2012 London Olympic middleweight gold medalist. "I am extremely pleased to be part of this historic middleweight title unification fight here in Japan. On April 9th, victory will be mine and Japan will have a unified world middleweight champion."

Murata defeated Hassan N’Dam to capture the WBA title for the first time on October 22, 2017, in Tokyo. He lost the title in a unanimous decision to Rob Brant on April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. In a rematch, Murata regained the title with a second-round knockout of Brant on July 12, 2019, in Osaka.

The 36-year-old Murata hasn’t fought since December 23, 2019, when he earned a fifth-round technical knockout of Steven Butler at Yokohama Arena.

Golovkin, 39, will trade punches with Murata after a long layoff. The Kazakh native triumphed in his most recent bout on December 18, 2020, winning via a seventh-round knockout of Kamil Szeremeta to retain his title belts.

Fight fans around the world have been wowed by Golovkin’s punching power throughout his illustrious career. The 2004 Athens Olympic middleweight gold medalist, who has made a jaw-dropping 21 successful title defenses, has built a strong following and his fights have been known as the Big Drama Show for years.

Now he’s gearing up for his first fight in Japan.

"I am glad that the date has finally been set,” Golovkin said. “I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers from Japan for their hard work and full support of the upcoming unification fight. Ryota Murata is an outstanding champion. I believe that boxing fans from this beautiful country and around the world will see an exciting event. I look forward to getting back in the ring and bringing the Big Drama Show to Japan."

Murata and Golovkin are both known for their aggressive tactics in the ring.

Golovkin owns a 41-1-1 career record, including 36 knockouts. Murata is 16-2 (13 KOs), with each of his last eight wins decided by way of stoppage.

[JAPAN SPORTS NOTEBOOK] Ryota Murata To Face Gennadiy Golovkin In Blockbuster Title Fight On December 29

Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven.

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