Golovkin expected to face Canelo next after win over Murata

IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin has now finally earned himself a shot at fighting Canelo Alvarez again after beating WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata by a stoppage in round nine on Saturday night.

This was not the performance that Golovkin required to convince the boxing public that he had a chance against the much younger 31-year-old Canelo for a trilogy match in September.

If anything, it’s reaffirmed the belief of fans that the 40-year-old Golovkin will stand no chance of beating Canelo.

Before tonight, the fans that were undecided about whether they would bother paying to watch Canelo-Golovin 3 were waiting to see how Golovkin performed against Murata.

Unfortunately, what we saw from Golovkin tonight is a fighter that is much too old to have a genuine chance of beating Canelo.

Whatever the case, Golovkin is now guaranteed a fight against Canelo on September 17th, as long as the ‘face of boxing’ Alvarez beats Dmitry Bivol on May 7th at the-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The ring rust from 15 months of inactivity was there to be seen by Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) tonight, as he looked tired from the second round on, taking deep breaths and needing to back away from Murata to get badly needed rest breaks at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The speed of Golovkin’s punches wasn’t there in the early rounds, mainly when throwing his uppercuts. They looked so slow that Murata (16-3, 13 KOs) could dodge many of them.

In the second half of the fight, Golovkin found success with his jabs and right hands, which damaged the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata, hurting him repeatedly from rounds six through nine.

Golovkin seemed to take zap all the remaining energy out of the 36-year-old Murata, who had never tasted power like that during his nine-year professional career.

Murata had nothing left in the tank in terms of punching power after getting hurt by a right-hand headshot from Golovkin in the sixth.

It was all downhill for Murata from the sixth, and he was fighting on fumes from that point. Although Murata still had his legs under him and looked steady in rounds six through nine, he looked half-stunned, and the courage he’d exhibited in the first four rounds had abandoned him completely.

In the ninth, Murata walked into a perfect right hand from Golovkin that spun him around and dropped him.

What was interesting about the knockdown is that Murata had time to duck Golovkin’s follow-up left hand after a big right nailed him. Despite dodging the shot, Murada when down anyway and was on his hands & knees at the moment his corner threw in the towel.

Golovkin becoming the unified IBF & WBC middleweight champion is inconsequential. It doesn’t mean anything because tonight’s fight was a business-level contest and not one that fans were demanding.

Japanese fans wanted to see it, but fans everywhere wanted to see Golovkin face Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Canelo, or David Benavidez.

After tonight, some fans won’t want to pay to see Canelo beat up on an old Golovkin. It would be different if the 31-year-old Canelo were the same age as the 40-year-old Golovkin.

Canelo still needs to beat WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) on May 7th before facing Golovkin in September. As long as Canelo wins that fight, we’ll see the two stars meet for their long-awaited rubber match.

You can argue that Canelo made the right decision by waiting four years until now to fight Golovkin again because the fight would have been a lot harder if the Mexican star had fought him in December 2018 or early 2019.