Gennadiy Golovkin will not face Ryota Murata in a middleweight unification match on Dec. 29 in Japan, a move that had been pretty much expected since the country put down a tentative one-month ban on foreign travelers earlier this week due to the threat of the COVID Omicron variant.
Mike Coppinger reported the news at ESPN.com this evening, and said the new plan is to reschedule the fight for 2022, but that obviously is up in the air at the moment, because there’s really no telling what kind of travel restrictions we’re going to see coming around the world.
As we noted on Monday, too, it would seem likely that the Dec. 31 junior bantamweight unification between Kazuto Ioka and Jerwin Ancajas is likely to meet the same fate, but there’s been nothing official reported just yet.
Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KO) will be turning 40 on April 8, and because of this postponement, 2021 will go down as the first year without a GGG fight since he turned pro in 2006. He was last out in Dec. 2020, easily handling Kamil Szeremeta in Florida.
Murata (16-2, 13 KO) turns 36 on Jan. 12, and he’s been out of action even longer, not fighting since Dec. 2019, when he stopped Steven Butler in the fifth round in Yokohama.
The fight was set to headline a DAZN-streamed card, and when it’s rescheduled, still will.