Inactive Middleweight champions Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) and Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) have agreed to a deal to fight on December 29th in a unification clash a the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The fight was be officially announced next week, according to ESPN.
Murata lives in nearby Tokyo, Japan, and he’s watched by many in that country whenever he fights. For this one, Golovkin will be along for the ride and will take advantage of Murata’s popularity. It’s unclear whether the Japanese casual boxing fans are familiar with Golovkin. They might not be, but it won’t matter because they’ll be tuning in to see Murata.
Golovkin, 39, is expected to be well paid for this fight, and he’ll likely win. It’s not the fight American boxing fans want to see from GGG.
They want to see him fight talented opposition like Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo or David Benavidez. Murata is viewed as a belt-holder, and he’s not rated highly.
This fight is a big deal in Japan, as the 35-year-old Murata is a vast star over, but unfortunately, he’s not well known in the U.S.
Many Americans know of Murata from his losses to Rob Brand and Hassan N’Dam. Although the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata avenged both losses, he’s failed to win over U.S fans.
Golovkin signed a colossal $100 million, six-fight deal with DAZN in 20019, according to Mike Coppinger, but the deal was amended. Part of the deal was that Golovkin would fight Canelo Alvarez in a trilogy, but that fight hasn’t materialized due to the Mexican star not wanting to face GGG again.
It’s unclear why DAZN agrees to let Golovkin fight Murata. It doesn’t matter that Murata is a world champion because he’s arguably an unknown with U.S boxing fans, and no one is calling for this fight.
There’s no demand from American fans 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-lb title due to his inactivity is unknown. For a champion to sit inactive for two solid years, it’s confusing how the WBA would allow that.
DAZN would be better off having Golovkin fight Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, Gabe Rosado, Jaime Munguia, or Chris Eubank Jr. Golovkin is likely getting a lot of money from Japan for this fight. Hence, it makes sense for him business-wise.
Adding another title to Golovkin’s collection would only mean something if he were willing to fight Charlo or Andrade, and thus far, he hasn’t seemed interested in doing that.
In the three fights that Golovkin has had thus far on his six-fight deal with DAZN, he’s fought these less than stellar opposition:
- Steve Rolls
- Sergiy Derevyanchenko
- Kamil Szeremeta
The big question is, why did Golovkin agree to fight those guys rather than Demetrius Andrade, Jermall Charlo, Chris Eubank Jr., or David Benavidez?
If you’re getting paid a ton of money by DAZN, it makes sense to fight guys that the boxing public in the U.S wants to see. Golovkin choosing Rolls, Derevhanchenko and Szeremeta as his opponents were the equivalent of a dumpster fire. Who signed off on those terrible fights?
Golovkin hadn’t fought since December 2020 when he stopped #1 IBF 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 had him ranked #1.
In October 2019, Golovkin performed poorly in defeating Sergiy Derevyhanchenko by a 12 round unanimous decision to capture 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 battle results. Golovkin looked old and shot against Derevyanchenko in getting hurt by a body shot and almost dropped.