Earlier today Japanese superstar Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] successfully defended the WBA "regular" Middleweight title, stopping Canadian puncher Steven Butler (28-2-1, 24). After that bout Murata, along with promoter Bob Arum and Teiken representative Tsuyoshi Hamada, attended a press along with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy promotions.
It was there that Arum stated the plans for his Murata, and they are big plans.
The veteran American promoter said that he'd invite both Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (53-1-2, 36) to face Murata at the huge Tokyo Dome, hoping to stage one show there before the 2020 Olympics and one after the Olympics.
It's worth noting that Diaz and Golden Boy Promotions promote Canelo and he responded by saying Canbelo wanted a fight in Japan, and seemed very open to fighting Murata, who was described as a Japanese star.
What was unclear is what weight that potential bout would be at, given Canelo has fought at Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight in recent bouts.
Given Canelo's schedule, with a bout likely to come around May 5th, it would appear this bout would be targeted as the post Olympic bout, and that Golovkin would be targeted as the pre-Olympic bout.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Ryota Murata to defend WBA "regular" title against Steven Butler in December, Fuji to stack the show
According to multiple reputable sources a deal is now close to being done for WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (15-2, 12) [村田 諒太] to defend his belt against once beaten Canadian Steven Butler (28-1-1, 24).
The story has been doing the rounds for a week or two now, and now appears to have moved from talks to being pretty much complete, in what will be the headline bout for Fuji TV's final card of 2019.
At the moment it appears the date will be much earlier in the year than previous Fuji year enders, with a pre-Christmas date being rumoured for the bout, though official announcements will be made in the near future confirming the date and venue.
Murata, a 2-time champion, won this belt back when he beat Rob Bran by TKO in the summer. He looked like he had found a new gear in his pressure in that win after looking 1-paced and fundamentally slow in his loss to Brant in 2018. The 2012 Olympic gold medal winner is clearly eyeing up bigger fights in 2020 and the ling rumoured fight with Kazakh star Gennady Golovkin's (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] is again doing the rounds in the Japanese press, for next year. Sadly we've long heard about Murata's chase for Golovkin and nothing has materialised so if that bout doesn't take place we would be disappointed but not surprised.
The 24 year old Butler was a solid amateur with a 50-5 record, of course that doesn't compare to Murata and his Olympic gold medal but still solid. He turned professional in 2014 and like many prospects he was super active early on with 9 bouts in his first 9 months as a professional. By the end of 2016 he was 18-0-1 (15) but would lose in January 2017 to Brandon Cook, who is best known for losses to Jaime Munguia and Kanat Islam. Since that loss he has bounced back with 12 wins and was tipped to to be Demetrius Andrade's next opponent.
At the moment the deal is being finalised though it's expected that Teiken will hold a press conference in the next 10 days to announce the bout. The same show is also expected to featured WBC Light Flyweight champion Kenshiro (16-0, 9) [拳四朗] and the return to the ring for former WBC Flyweight champion Daigo Higa (15-1, 15) [比嘉 大吾] and could feature 1 other noteworthy bout as Fuji look to end the year in style.
We know we've been a bit slow on this one!
Tomorrow we'll see Kazakh icon Gennady Golovkin's (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] attempted to reclaim the IBF Middleweight title as he takes on Ukrainian fighter Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10) at Madison Square in New York.
The bout looks an interesting one on paper, and is obviously a bout that has caught the attention of the bookies, with a number of bookies offering odds on the bout.
The UK bookies have priced Golovkin a very clear favourite. The Kazakh is best priced at 2/9 at the time of writing whilst Derevyanchenko is a 4/1 under-dog. The draw, for those interested, is best priced at 33/1 and is widely available at 22/1.
The method of victory market is more interesting in many ways. Golovkin is best priced at 13/10 to score a stoppage win, which would be Derevyanchenko's first stoppage loss, and the Kazakh is priced at 6/4 to score the decision win. Derevyanchenko on the other hand is 8/1 to win a decision and 12/1 to take a stoppage, which would be a huge shock given how solid Golovkin's chin has proven to be over the years.
One thing worth noting is that the bout is priced at 19/20 to go the scheduled 12 rounds and evens to not go the distance.
Whilst we do see a Golovkin win, it will be very interesting to see how he gets it.
Related - Golovkin and Derevyanchenko clash for IBF crown!
Tomorrow we'll see Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10) battle for the IBF Middleweight title at Madison Square Garden, in the New York.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the bout, and both fighters came in comfortably under the Middleweight limit.
Golovkin, the former IBF, WBA and WBC champion, was 159.2lb on the scales whilst Derevyanchenko was a little bit lighter at 159lbs.
For the 37 year old Kazakh, who looked in great shape, the weight is the lightest he's been since he beat Kell brook just over 3 years ago, and is almost 4lbs lighter than he was in June when he beat Canadian foe Steve Rolls.
Derevyanchenko, who also looked in excellent condition, was pretty his usual weight, he was the same last time out against Jack Culcay, and has been 159lbs in 3 of his last 6. What is notable is he is much lower than his heaviest weight, which is 166lbs for his 2015 bout with Vladine Biosse.
The loser of this bout will be in a tough place, and although Golovkin is strongly favoured the bout is certainly not a gimme, especially not when you consider Golovkin is 37 and has shown signs of slow down in some recent bouts.
Related - Golovkin and Derevyanchenko clash for IBF crown!
Fast rising Light Middleweight Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3) [Исроил Мадримов], from Uzbekistan, has now been confirmed as one of two Central Asian fighters set to be in action in the under-card of Gennady Golovkin's (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] IBF Middleweight title bout Sergey Derevyanchenko (13-1, 10).
The talented and hard hitting Madrimov has his opponent for the bout named as Alejandro Barrera (29-5, 18).
Whilst we are huge fans of Madrimov, and his desire to be moved quickly, we do wonder why he's facing off with the 33 year old Barrera, who has lost 3 of his last 4 and been mostly fighting at Welterweight. Whilst that alone doesn't make him a bad opponent, it needs to be said that he's not fought in over a year and is more than 2 years removed from his last win. For a fighter like Madrimov, who needs to face someone able to test him and ask questions of him, this seems too much of a mismatch to be an interesting contest, and instead looks likely to be an easy blow out win for the Uzbek.
The other Central Asian fighter set for the under-card is Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11) [Али Ахмедов], though his opponent for a scheduled 10 round bout has yet to be announced. He's coming in on the back of good wins over the likes of Marcus McDaniel and Mike Guy, so hopefully his opponent will be someone who is more interesting on paper than Barrera.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!