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Tom Loeffler floats Golovkin-Murata in 2019

Murata fights Rob Brant this Saturday

Ryota Murata v Emanuele Blandamura - WBA Middleweight Title Bout Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Tom Loeffler, promoter of Gennady Golovkin, spoke to ESPN today about his fighter’s future, which includes discussions with various platforms now that HBO is out of the game and the timeline for his return. One name that cropped up repeatedly is Ryota Murata, who faces Rob Brant this Saturday in the second defense of his WBA middleweight title. Loeffler, alongside Top Rank’s Bob Arum, raised the possibility of the two Olympians fighting each other early next year at the Tokyo Dome should Murata defeat Brant.

The bout would air on ESPN, possibly in March or May.

The fight makes plenty of sense; Murata (14-0, 11 KO) technically should have been one of Golovkin’s (38-1-1, 34 KO) mandatories while the latter held the Super title, but it didn’t pan out. Murata, though still untested against the division elite, looks to be a powerful and aggressive finisher, a style that seems tailor-made to generate a quality banger against Golovkin.

This being a Top Rank-Teiken collaboration, one would expect Roman Gonzalez to once again play co-star. Perhaps a title bout with Donnie Nietes, who has been vocal in his pursuit of “Chocolatito?”

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