Over the last few weeks rumours have circulated that we will see IBF Middleweight champion Kazakh legend Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] headlining separate shows later this year before facing off in December.
It now appears that things are moving in theright direct with that plan, thougha lot of details are yet to be filled in.
The current plan seems to be for both me to defend their titles in July or August, with their opponents yet to be confirmed though Golovkin has been strongly linked to an August fight with Brazilian fighter Esquiva Falcao (28-0, 20) before facing in late December.
For weeks the rumoured date for the unification was December 31st, a date that never really made much sense knowing how Fuji TV operate, and how much of a TV ratings giant NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen is on New Year's Eve. Today however Mike Coppinger seemed to give an alternative, and more probable, date of December 28th for the bout, suggesting the date was "agreed in principle". This would fit more inline with what we have expected from Fuji TV, who will likely be the lead Japanese broadcaster for the bout given their long standing relationship with Murata.
As for international fans the bout is expected to be available, globally, on DAZN, and would be a Tuesday morning fight for fans in the West.
Last week Brazilian website www.uol.com.br broke the news that unbeaten Brazilian fighter Esquiva Falcao (28-0, 20) is preparing to face IBF Middleweight champion Kazakh legend Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] in August in Los Angeles.
Falcao was interviewed by uol.com where he stated:
"The dates are not yet confirmed, but everything indicates that the fight will be in August. I must face Gennady Golovkin, from Kazakhstan, who is the current world champion. This fight will be very good for me, I am very confident. The dispute will be in Las Vegas"
It should be noted that uol aren't a site we're familiar with, but the bout would make sense from Golovkin's point of view, and also be one where he would be heavily favoured to pick up the win, and shake some ring rust before a long rumoured fight with WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] at the end of the year.
At the time of writing Falcao is ranked by the WBO (#4), IBF (#5) and WBC (#6) making him a highly ranked voluntary challenger for Golovkin. He is also someone who knows Murata well, with the two men battlign famously in the 2011 World Camateur Championships semi-final and the 2012 Olympic final, with Murata winning both of those clashes. In fact there had long been talk of a Murata Vs Falcao bout in the professional ranks to end their rivalry.
Despite to Murata in two major amateur tournaments Falcao still managed to pick up an Olympic silver medal and a bronze medal at the World Amateur championships.
If Falcao gets the fight with Golovkin, asnow seems likely, it would be his second fight of 2021. His previous fight came in January when he stopped former 2-time world title challenger Artur Akavov, who lost a very competitive decision to Billy Joe Saunders in 2016 and was stopped in round 12 by Demetrius Andrade. As for Golovkin the bout would be his first since beating Kamil Szeremeta, in an horrific mismatch back in December, and it seems clear the purpose would be to shake some ring rust before the potential Murata bout.
For those wanting to read Falcao's interview with uol, it's available here, in Portuguese.
According to a report in the usually reliable Nikkan Sports WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] is eyeing a potential late May defense, at home in Japan, though other reports contradict this suggesting an early June date or even August date is more likely.
The article, published earlier this week, wasn't focused so much on the potential match up for Murata but rather his new boxing shoes, designed by Nike. In fact the shows in question were the Nike HyperKO2 shoes, with Murata himself talking about the shoes, explaining "It feels like the heels are raised a little with the platform specifications (for long-distance running). I wonder if I can get used to it. I want to get used to it,"
Although no date is set Murata has been preparing to get a date for the last few weeks. Around a month ago he was sparring with fellow Teiken fighter Junpei Tsujimoto (7-2-3, 5) [辻本 純兵], with Murata explaining that was a light spar, rather than anything too series. At the end of March he also took part in a training camp away from the gym, training alongside Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] and Jorge Linares (47-5, 29), who both have big bouts lined up for the summer. That camp was focused on fitness and running, rather than boxing.
It's also been reported, by Sports Hochi, that 3 international sparring partners were expected to arrive in Japan later this month, to help Murata prepare for an upcoming defense.
The bout, whenever it ends up taking place, will be Murata's first since December 2019, when he beat Canadian challenger Steven Butler.
Interestingly both the Sports Hochi report that Murata is targeting a December super fight with Kazakh legend Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин], something that has been reported repeatedly through the first 4 months of 2021, and seems likely to be part of Fuji TV's year ending show in late December.
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
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