Not too long to go now until the return of Gennady Golovkin. Currently training for his April 9th two-belt middleweight unification clash with Japanese hero Ryota Murata, GGG found time to speak about the fight with The MMA Hour. And Golovkin, who will turn 40 next month, had nothing but praise for Murata, who he will be facing in Saitama, Japan in a little over three weeks’ time.
Golovkin and Murata have actually sparred in the past, a long time ago. But Golovkin, 41-1-1(36) recalls the session well.
“It did take place but that was a long time ago,” Golovkin said of the sparring session with Murata. “It was not the pure sparring approach that he came to spar me. I learned during those sessions that Murata is a very serious fighter with a high boxing IQ.”
As fans know, if Golovkin gets the win on April 9, he will head into a third and final fight with arch-rival Canelo Alvarez (this assuming the Mexican superstar comes through his own fight okay with Dmitry Bivol). There is a lot at stake and GGG says he is excited and is very much looking forward to the fight in Japan.
“He’s the pride and star of his country,” GGG said of Murata. “I know the organizers of this event. Everything will be top class, and I’m very excited to be part of this amazing event. He’s an Olympic champion and he’s the current world champion holding the WBA title.”
We fans are eager to see how Golovkin looks in this fight, how the longest layoff of his career (16 months) will affect him. That said, Murata has not been active himself, with the 36 year old not having fought in a quite staggering 28 months. How rusty might Murata be on April 9? There are a lot of questions going into this fight.
Due to his enormous pedigree, Golovkin is the favourite to win, yet some good judges are suggesting it might not be a clear and/or in any way easy win for GGG – Bob Arum for one, who recently said he would not be surprised if Murata, 16-2(13) got the win.
Whatever happens, it will be good to see Gennady Golovkin back where he belongs – in the ring. It will also be good to see the all-action Murata back in business. Who wins this one?