Golovkin – Murata WBA, IBF and IBO Middleweight World Title Unification Battle rescheduled for Saturday April 9
NEW YORK (March 2, 2022) — The fight is on! Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs), of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, boxing’s most dominant middleweight of his era, brings the Big Drama Show and his IBF and IBO world title belts into the backyard of his opponent, Japan, where he will rumble with two-time WBA middleweight pivot Ryōta Murata (16-2, 13 KOs), in a long-awaited title unification bout.
Promoted by Teiken Promotions Inc., in association with GGG Promotions, Golovkin vs. Murata takes place on Saturday, April 9 (it was originally scheduled for December 29 before being postponed due to the Omicron outbreak), and will air live from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, which borders Murata’s hometown of Tokyo, to over 200 countries and territories, including the United States, exclusively on DAZN (excluding Japan and Kazakhstan).
In a battle of two-time world champions and Olympic medalists, Golovkin and Murata will look to put their stamp on, arguably, boxing’s most storied weight class. They claim a combined record of 57-3-1, 49 knockouts – a winning percentage of over 93% – with 86% of their wins by knockout.
“I am happy that the date has finally been set. I would like to express my gratitude to the Japanese organizers for their hard work and full support for the struggle for the coming unification,” Golovkin said. “Ryota Murata is an exceptional champion. I believe boxing fans in this beautiful country and around the world will see an exciting event. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and bring the Big Drama Show to Japan.
“I feel like my whole amateur and professional boxing career has been preparation for this fight against Gennadiy Golovkin. This fight will determine my place in the middleweight division and in boxing history,” Murata said. “Gennadiy Golovkin has long been the standard bearer of the middleweight division. To me, he’s still undefeated. I have the utmost respect for him. It’s been a long time since my last fight, because of the pandemic, but I put that time to good use, working very hard with my coaches to improve my physical condition and add more power to my punches. I’m so proud that Japan is hosting this fight. It’s a great honor for me.”
“We can’t wait for Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin to return to DAZN, taking on Ryōta Murata for the WBA, IBF and IBO world middleweight titles,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “Murata takes a big step up against middleweight king GGG, who is looking to continue his reign in the division after dismantling Szeremeta last time out. This should be a brilliant fight, and we’re excited to have it live on DAZN on April 9th.
Golovkin, who has worn a world championship belt every year since 2010, will look to build on his division record of successful title defenses, which currently stands at 21. He returns to the ring amid his second reign as an average weight. world champion. Golovkin regained the IBF and IBO middleweight titles in 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over top-rated contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko, three-time world title challenger. It was a hellish slugfest that kept the frantic Madison Square Garden crowd on their feet for 12 rounds. Many considered it the fight of the year.
In his last fight, on December 18, 2020, Golovkin scored four knockdowns against undefeated mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta, en route to a seventh-round stoppage and a successful 21st middleweight title defense. Golovkin’s Big Drama Show filled iconic arenas around the world, selling out Madison Square Garden, The O2 in London, The Fabulous Forum and StubHub Center in Los Angeles, and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. This will be his first fight in Japan. His 11-year rampage in the middleweight division also drew millions of viewers who watched him on premium cable, pay-per-view and DAZN. He won an Olympic silver medal as a middleweight at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
Murata’s two world title reigns began with stoppage wins in immediate rematches that avenged losses. After losing a split decision to Hassan N’Dam on May 20, 2017, for the vacant WBA middleweight title, he dethroned N’Dam in the seventh round five months later on October 22, 2017.
After a successful title defense – an eighth-round TKO of Emanuele Blandamura on April 15, 2018 – Murata lost his title to Rob Brant via unanimous decision on October 20, 2018. Nine months later, on July 12, 2019, Murata quit Brant in the second round to reclaim the WBA middleweight title. In his last fight, before the pandemic, Murata successfully defended his title with a fifth-round TKO of Steven Butler, once beaten.
The six-foot murata, one of Japan’s most popular athletes, first caught the world’s attention when he won Olympic gold in the middleweight division at the 2012 Olympics in London. It was the first gold medal won by a Japanese boxer since Takao Sakurai in 1964, and also Japan’s first-ever boxing medal in a weight class other than bantamweight or flyweight.
Murata also became the 100th gold medalist in Japanese Olympic history. Murata’s last eight wins have come by stoppage.