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Gennady Golovkin knocks down Ryota Murata to be crowned unified world middleweight champion with nine-round win


Gennady Golovkin was crowned the unified world middleweight champion upon his return to the ring as he picked up a TKO victory over Ryota Murata in Japan.

GGG, 40, was rocked early on but then began to control the grueling battle at Saitama Super Arena and knocked down Olympic gold medalist Murata in the ninth round with a big right hand.

AFP

Golovkin is now the holder of the IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight titles

Gennady Golovkin knocks down Ryota Murata to be crowned unified world middleweight champion with nine-round win

AFP

Murata was knocked down in the ninth round, his corner throwing in the towel

Pound-for-pound king Golovkin retained his IBF and IBO titles by defeating Kamil Szeremeta in Florida in December 2020.

He hasn’t fought since then, and his rust showed in the early rounds as former sparring partner Murata looked to capitalize.

There were punches galore from both fighters, but GGG was on top as the fight continued deep into its 12 rounds, landing punch after punch to the head of the Japanese boxer.

The Kazakh fighter knocked out his opponents rubber shield in the fifth as he turned the tide of the fight and his second breath kicked in.

And the unrelenting pressure finally paid off, with Golovkin putting the 2012 London champion flat on his back in the ninth round.

Murata’s corner had seen enough as they threw in the towel, handing GGG a TKO victory.

Gennady Golovkin knocks down Ryota Murata to be crowned unified world middleweight champion with nine-round win

AFP

Golovkin celebrates win in Japan – is Canelo next?


He has now added the WBA belt to his collection as he once again showed his granite chin in a brutal battle.

Golovkin’s win sets up a tantalizing showdown with arch-rival Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, with that clash scheduled for later this year.

It would be a third fight against Mexican Canelo, who handed Golovki his only defeat in 44 professional bouts in their second encounter in 2018, having drawn the previous year.

However, GGG would not reveal anything about his future plans ahead of the fight, insisting he was fully focused on delivering a “boxing gift” to fans in Japan.

And he certainly did.

Gennady Golovkin knocks down Ryota Murata to be crowned unified world middleweight champion with nine-round win

AFP

There were punches from both fighters as Murata sought to retain his WBA belt

Gennady Golovkin knocks down Ryota Murata to be crowned unified world middleweight champion with nine-round win

AFP

But Golovkin was just too strong and relentless as he unified the middleweight division

He said: “Murata is the most important fight. Period. I don’t look ahead.

“I have fully invested myself in training for the fight I have ahead of me. I have too much respect for Murata and his work.

“My focus is on him and winning his title. That’s why I’m in Japan. I can’t wait to fight in a crowded arena. I missed that energy.

“It will be a boxing gift for the fans. I expect this to be the fight of the year.

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