This past weekend we saw Japan's Kenichi Ogawa (26-2-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] being dethroned of the IBF Super Featherweight champion, as he was stopped by unbeaten Welshman Joe Cordina (15-0, 9), who landed the punch of a life time to stop Ogawa in 2 rounds.
Today it was revealed that Ogawa had returned to Japan, and had spoken, briefly, to the press.
On his return to Japan Ogawa stated there was now a big hole in his heart, with the loss of the title. He also refused to comment regarding his future, not revealing if he planned to return to the ring or retire.
Notably Ogawa is the second fighter from the Teiken Gym to have recently lost a world title, following Ryota Murata's (16-3, 13) [村田 諒太] recent loss to Gennady Golovkin (42-1-1, 37) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин]. It's worth noting that Murata has also not made a decision regarding his future, though recently revealed he is staying in shape, and will speak to Akihiko Honda in the near future about whether he plans to continue to fight, or hang them up and walk away from the sport.
Japanese sites report financial details of Golovkin Vs Murata, Murata's future unclear
Yesterday we saw a thrilling Middleweight unification bout as Kazakh icon Gennady Golovkin (42-1-1, 37) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] beat down Ryota Murata (16-3, 13) [村田 諒太] to unify the IBF and WBA "super" titles.
Since that bout took place there has been a lot of post fight coverage in Japan covering a lot of different aspects, including things like purses and Murata's future as well as speculation about potential injuries to Murata.
Regarding the money for the bout, it's now been widely reported that the purses of the two men was an estimated 2 Billion Yen, split 75-25 in favour of Golovkin. This means Got around $12,000,000 for the fight and Murata got around $5,000,000. That's as their estimate purses.
Alongside that both teams also got expenses. Murata's expenses weren't reported, though sources in Japan reveal that Golovkin's expenses came to around 40 million yen ($320,000) for a team of around 12. That team included coaches, laywers, chefs and photographers. That was spent on travel, with a number of his team in first class and others in business, as well as Teiken renting a full floor in a luxury hotel in the Akasaka district of Tokyo.
It's worth noting that Japanese promoter Ichitaro Ishii stated that 40 million yen is what he and his team would put aside to put on a Lightweight world title fight. Or to put it another way Probellum won the purse bid to host John Riel Casimero Vs Paul Butler with a big of $105,000.
On the subject of Japanese promoters, Issei Nakaya, from Hachioji Nakaya Gym, stated that his fighter Makoto Fuchigami made around 5 million Yen (around $40,000) for facing Golovkin in 2012. For that bout Nakaya estimated that Golovkin got between 10 million and 20 million Yen. If he's right, and there's little reason to doubt him, it really does show how much of a draw Golovkin has become in the last 10 years, and how his break into the US market has really made him a global star.
It was also noted that Murata's main sparring partners, both from Mexico, were an issue. Teiken were constantly in touch with immigration services in Japan, to allow the partners to stay in and let Murata train with them, extending their stay well beyodn the originally planned date of the bout, back in December.
As for Murata he has given interviews with Japanese media since the loss, and despite some speculation of him suffering a broken jaw, it does appear he managed to avoid any such injuries. He looked swollen and bruised in pictures, but there was no talk of any major injuries at all. Saying that however he did explain that he was in pain in his neck, shoulders and chin, and that drinking coffee was hurting his mouth.
He stated that he returned to his hotel after the bout, but struggled to sleep, only getting around 4 hours of sleep, and hadn't seen the bout back. He added that there was a "sense of relief that I was able to get out of the ring safely". He has also thanked Mr Honda, of Teiken promotions, along with Sendai Tanaka, and those at the Teiken Gym, along with his family. As for the future, he didn't really have much of an answer, stating that he would rest and think about things before making a decision as to whether to continue to fight or not.
After months of waiting, postponements and more waiting we are finally on the verge of the Middleweight super fight between IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太], who will clash tomorrow at the Saitama Super Arena, in a major unification bout.
At the weigh in, both men came in bang on the 160lb limit and both looked in great shape, with a sense of both seriousness and respect across their faces.
On the scales Golovkin looked in great shape, despite the fact he's now 40 years old. He looked ripped and like a man in his prime physical condition for a fight he's taking incredibly seriously, even if the bookies and others see it as a foregone conclusion.
As for Murata he looked somewhat less cut than Golovkin, and even a touch fleshy. Compared to his rival he didn't look in peak physical condition, though he certainly didn't look bad as such and he has never been the uber-ripped looking type of fighter.
After the two men made weight they took part in a 20 second stare down, with Murata keeping an incredibly serious look, until smiling afterwards, as the respect between the two men showed.
Related - The Middleweight Division get a super fight as Golovkin and Murata face off!
Golovkin arrives in Japan
On April 9th we'll see a major Middleweight unification bout, as IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] clashes with WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太]. Today, ahead of that clash, Golovkin arrived in Japan, landing at the Haneda Airport, from America.
The once beaten Kazakh fighter gave comments to the media after arriving in Japan, and state that he was happy, he was in good physical condition, and relieved to finally be in Japan after the issues with this bout.
The bout between the two men was originally scheduled for last December, before it was postponed due to the the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid19. The postponement saw the bout being delayed, and delayed again, resulting in both men having something of a stop-start training camp for the bout.
As well as explaining that he was in great shape Golovkin also spoke highly of Murata, explaining:
"Murata is an Olympic gold medalist and has been a world champion twice. There must be good reason for that. He's a great fighter. I have a lot of respect for what he's done and his talent.
As he is such a player, the day of the upcoming match should be an exciting night for the fans and for him and himself. My focus is to do everything I've practiced in the camp perfectly and in perfect shape. He wants you to see what kind of match he will play with him. "
He also added "I think Murata is a very smart and strong player. I think he's done some tough and hard training, so I think he's a dangerous opponent."
In just under 2 weeks time we'll see a Middleweight super fight as IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] and WBA "Super" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13) [村田 諒太] face off in a unification bout. Today, ahead of that bout, Murata took part in a media work out at the Teiken Gym in Tokyo.
At the training session Murata did a 2 round spar with former foe Adrian Luna Flores (23-8-2, 15), who's a regular sparring partner for the Japanese star, and worked a number of rounds on the heavy bag. During the sparring session he looked sharp, powerful, strong and like a man who was in a great place. Although he and Luna Flores are close, it did seem like Murata was landing with genuine power, and using his physicality, something we expect to see from him when he faces Golovkin. Interestingly however Murata didn't seem pleased by the spar, and suggested it was a "reasonable result for a tired state", almost hinting that he was a bit worn out.
Regarding Golovkin, we saw Murata talk about how Golovkin is the stronger fighter at range, and how he will need to press, get in the pocket and make up close. He admitted it was difficult, and that the first round was going to be really important. In fairness to Murata his only real way to win, looks to be following the idea of getting inside, setting a high tempo and hoping that the 40 year old Golovkin can keep up, but it's a high risk game plan and one that will see him taking punishment himself.
Notably Murata explained that there isn't fear of the bout, but instead there was more fear of not being able to have the bout, which has been postponed numerous times due to the on going Pandemic, which notably forced the bout to be postponed from the previously announced December 2021 date.
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