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GGG TKOs Murata and Advances Toward a Third Showdown With Canelo

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  • GGG TKOs Murata and Advances Toward a Third Showdown With Canelo

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    By Arne K. Lang

    Fighting a day after turning 40, Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin overcame a few rough patches to break down and stop Ryota Murata in Saitama, Japan. In the process, GGG acquired another middleweight title belt – a belt that he had previously owned – but more relevantly kept the door open for a third meeting with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. If Canelo performs as expected against Dmitry Bivol on May 7, GGG-Canelo III is expected to unfold in mid-September, likely in Las Vegas, on Mexican Independence Day Weekend. Barring unforeseen developments, the trilogy fight will be contested at 168 pounds.

    Golovkin looked his age at times during the early portion of the fight, particularly in rounds two, three and four when Murata nailed him with some hard punches to the body. But GGG was never in serious trouble and seized the momentum in the middle rounds. In the sixth, he knocked out Murata’s mouthpiece and from there it was all downhill for the Japanese. His corner rescued him from further punishment in the ninth frame after GGG put him down with a counter right hook. The official time was 2:11.

    GGG-Canelo won’t be a true rubber match because their first meeting ended in a draw. However, in the minds of many people their series is deadlocked at 1-1. Canelo’s victory in their second encounter remains the only blemish on GGG’s record. With his win tonight in Saitama, the brilliant Kazakh, who is Korean on his mother’s side, advanced his record to 42-1-1 (37 KOs). Murata, a former Olympic gold medalist, declined to 16-3.

    Other Bouts

    Junto Nakatani dominated brave but overmatched Ryota Yamauchi en route to an eighth-round stoppage. The 24-year-old Nakatani (23-0, 18 KOs) was making the second defense of his WBO world flyweight title.

    Yamauchi, who entered the match with an 8-1 record and had knocked out seven opponents, was in over his head. Nakatani’s American trainer Rudy Hernandez has said that Nakatani is the best fighter that he has ever trained. (Hernandez is the brother of the late Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez who fought the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather.)

    This was likely Nakatani’s last bout at 112. The talent is stronger in the next weight class up. Potential showdowns between Nakatani and Juan Francisco Estrada and/or Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez are mouth-watering.

    In a bout sanctioned for a regional lightweight title, long-reigning Japanese national lightweight champion Shuichiro Yoshino (15-0, 11 KOs) moved up in class and won a hard-fought technical decision over former WBO world super featherweight title-holder Masayuki Ito (27-4-1). The end came in round 11 after an accidental clash of heads forced the bout to the scorecards.

    The ringside physician almost halted this action-packed rumble after round 10. Ito had a bad cut over his left eye and had been bleeding from his nose for most of the fight. The clash of heads caused him to bend over in obvious pain, dictating a “time out,” and the bout wasn’t resumed. At the time of the stoppage, Yoshino was ahead on all three cards: 106-103 and 107-102 twice.

  • #2
    Golovkin gets hit like it’s his job, which I guess it is.

    I suspect Canelo will reject a third GGG fight.

    Frankly, Golovkin hasn’t done dick to earn it.

    Unless being an inactive sore loser counts.


    • #3
      I've never been a big fan of Golovkin. I've always viewed him as a slow and brute-force kinda guy. He's definitely not my favourite. But he's at least more fun to watch than someone like Mayweather.
      Don't get me wrong, I'm consistently amazed at out-boxing styles like Mayweather's. It's no accident that he's still undefeated. But to me he's just not as fun to watch as a more aggressive boxer like Manny Pacquiao, for example.

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      Last edited by Psyker; 04-15-2022, 10:52 AM.