Gennadiy Golovkin battled through a slow start today in Saitama, Japan, eventually taking over before dropping and stopping Ryota Murata in the ninth round to unify the IBF and WBA middleweight titles.
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KO) looked stiff and slow in the early going, and while he’ll never be fighting like he did in his early to mid 30s again, the 40-year-old GGG did loosen up, shake the rust, and get the big momentum.
After looking hurt on some body shots early, Golovkin was able to adjust, moving around better and protecting the body, while he came back to push Murata (16-3, 13 KO) back, something Murata had been able to do in the early rounds.
Murata was looking just about out of gas by the seventh round, but kept bravely hanging in. The writing was on the wall, though, and when Golovkin hurt him in the ninth, he kept pouring on the pressure, eventually putting the Japanese star on the canvas, at which point the towel came in.
With the win, GGG has held up his end of setting up a third fight with Canelo Alvarez in September, which would be for Canelo’s undisputed super middleweight championship.
We’ll have more on GGG vs Murata shortly. For now, some highlights from the fight.
GGG vs Murata highlights
Murata and GGG exchange big shots in the fourth pic.twitter.com/ixcbh3Yuse— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 9, 2022
GGG knocks out Murata's mouthpiece pic.twitter.com/xAha9aJOdT— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 9, 2022