Last week the WBA announced that they had upgraded Japanese Middleweight Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] from their "Regular" champion to their "Super" champion. Less than a week on from that announcement Murata celebrated his 35th birthday, which occurred yesterday.
After blowing out his candles the fighter and his team at Teiken revealed their plan for the year, and there is big plans ahead for the popular Japanese fighter, and also spoke about the frustrating 2020.
Akihiko Honda revealed that the hope for 2020 had been to land a fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez in April 2020 and then Gennady Golovkin in December. Of course due to the pandemic and out of the ring issues neither of those bouts came to fruition, with the inability to host fans making the events completely unviable.
For 2021 the plan is to have Murata in the ring April or May this year, in Japan, with the plan being for him to take on a voluntary defense, though no names were announced. That bout would be his second defense of his current title reign.
If he gets through that the hope is to then face a big name in September, with Golovkin's name popping up as one of the potential opponents for that end of year bout.
Though it should be noted that those bouts are obviously dependent on the pandemic not derailing either bout, and would also likely require fans in the venue due to the size of the purse required to pay a fighter like Golovkin.
Murata also explained that becoming the WBA "super" champion does make a bout with Golovkin, the current IBF champion, much easier make and stated that he thought it was good that the WBA had helped them move towards the unification bout.
Although Murata has been out of the ring since December 2019 he has been staying in good shape, and revealed that he is now regularly sparring, with over 100 rounds, and he's going to be bringing in international sparring partners in in the coming weeks. He's revealed that he is now sparring around 6 rounds a day, 3 days a week, which is obviously helping him sharpen up ahead of this planned Spring fight.
(Image courtesy of Teiken)
Tomorrow on DAZN we'll see IBF and IBO Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] defending his two titles against unbeaten Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5).
Earlier today the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the 160lb limit with room to spare, and neither man even came close top pushing the limit of the division.
Szermeta hit the scales first and came in at a ripe and ready 159lbs, he looked in really good shape, though he did also look hydrated and not like a man boiling down to make weight. He looked like he was very much as his natural around weight and will not be adding significant pound over the next 24 hours or so.
The heavy handed Kazakh world champion weighed in secondly and he looked in sensational shape whilst coming in at 159.2lb. If we're being honest he looks in arguably the best shape of his career, he was ripped and it looks like he's going to be putting on the pounds after the weigh in, and come in in sensational condition tomorrow night. He does however need to remember that there is an IBF same-day weigh in, but after we wouldn't be surprised to see him adding quite a decent amount of water weight before he gets in the ring tomorrow.
Again for those wanting to watch this one, it will be available worldwide on DAZN.
Related - Golovkin returns against unbeaten Szeremeta
This coming Friday in Florida we'll see IBF and IBO Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] return to the ring for the first time in over a year as he goes up against Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). The bout, which will be shown around the world on DAZN, is regarded as a very clear mismatch by fans and critics, but how do the bookies see it?
Well unsurprisingly they bookies also see the bout as a complete and utter mismatch.
The once beaten Golovkin is priced at 1/25 to retain his title and score the victory over his unbeaten Polish foe. Odds that really aren't worth even considering putting money on. Szeremeta on the other hand is best priced at 14/1 to pick up the victory, and score one of the biggest upsets of 2020. The draw, for those interest in the unlikely, is best priced at 33/1.
There is, obviously, more value in the Method of Victory market, and it's there that we find a Golovkin KO, TKO or DQ win priced at 1/5, a much more attractive price than his outright "To Win" odds. A decision for the Kazakh can also be backed at a rather tasty looking price of 9/2.
For Szeremeta backers you can get 25/1 on the Pole winning by stoppage, against the iron chinned Golovkin. Amazing that's a better price than some of the bookies are offering than for a Szeremeta decision win, which is available at 33/1.
Given the odds on Golovkin to score a KO it'll be no surprise to learn that the bout isn't expected to go long, and the total rounds market is set around 5.5 rounds by the UK bookies. They have the bout at Evens to go over 5.5 rounds and 5/6 for the bout to be over before the mid-way point of round 6.
The bout, obviously, not expected to go the distance, and you can back the bout to end within 12 rounds at 1/6, whilst the bout is 9/2 to somehow see out the 12 round schedule.
Related - Golovkin returns against unbeaten Szeremeta
Earlier today Boxrec.com listed parts of the under-card for the recently announced IBF Middleweight title bout between Kazakh great Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). Among those now lined up for the under-card is unbeaten WBA female Super Featherweight champion Hyun Mi Choi (17-0-1, 4) [최현미].
Choi, signed with Matchroom earlier this year, had stated that she was going to be defending her title in December in the UK, though it now appears that those plans have changed to the point where Choi will instead be in action in Florida on December 18th.
At the time of writing she hasn't had her opponent named, though the bout is expected to see Choi making her 8th defense of her WBA title.
The 30 year old Korean fighter has one of the sports most amazing modern day stories. She picked up the sport in North Korea as a youngster, when officials saw him being much bigger than other girls the same age, and the hope was that she would represent the Hermit Kingdom at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That plan fell apart when the IOC decided not to have women's boxing at the 2008 games, and it also fellow apart when Choi and her family defected from North Korea to the South, to set up a new life.
After a successful amateur boxing career Choi turned professional in 2008 and made history, claiming the WBA female Featherweight title on her debut. She would defend that title 7 times before moving up in weight and claiming the interim WBA Super Featherweight title, and then be upgraded to the full champion. She has since defended that belt 7 times.
Notably all of her bouts, to date, have taken place in South Korea so her position on the Florida card isn't just her US debut but also her international debut.
As well as Choi the under-card to Golovkin's next bout will also feature rising Kazakh power puncher Ali Akhmedov (16-0, 12) [Али Ахмедов], who is expected to fight in a 12 rounder. As with Choi we have not yet had an opponent named for Akhmedov.
One of the longest, most arduous saga's of 2020 has been the IBF Middleweight title bout between defending champion Gennady Golovkin's (40-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and Polish challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5). It seems the bout has been scheduled, pushed back, rumoured, rescheduled and delayed numerous times this year.
Today, after what feels like an eternity, the bout was finally announced, with the the date of the bout set for December 18th.
The bout will be shown on DAZN and will be take place one day before Golovkin's biggest rival Saul "Canelo" Alvarez returns to the ring, to take on Callum Smith, also on DAZN.
For Golovkin the bout will be his first defense of the IBF title during his current reign, after winning the belt for the second time last year with a very hard fought victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden. He will be a very clear favourite, though questions will be asked as to just how much the 38 year old Kazakh has left in the tank, especially after recent tough bouts with Derevyanchenko, Canelo and Daniel Jacobs, which were all punishing bouts.
As for Szeremeta the bout will be his first at world level and he will be taking a massive step up in class. The 31 year old from Bialystok was last seen in the ring beating the hapless Oscar Cortes in 2 rounds, the same Cortes that was stopped by Bektemir Melikuziev in just over 2 minutes this past February. Although an unheralded challenger Szeremeta is a former European champion with wins against the likes of Artem Karpets, Patrick Mendy, Radal Jackiewicz, Ruben Diaz, Andrew Fancillette and Alessandro Goddi. None of whom are even close to be considered world class Middleweights.
The bout, to our understanding, will be taking place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, the same venue that will host this weekend's bout between former Golovkin opponents Daniel Jacobs and Gabriel Rosado.
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