Via Jack Tiernan: To show his respect, Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin went to Ryota Murata’s locker room after knocking him out this evening to give him back the WBA middleweight title he won from him at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Murata caused big problems for Golovkin in the first four innings tonight of their 160 lb IBF & WBA unification fight. Golovkin had to adjust midway through to focus on the second half of the competition to get the win, but that was far from easy.
Scorecards at the time of decommissioning:
Despite a poor start to the first four innings, Golovkin turned strong from the fifth round, taking control of the contest with his powerful, right-hand and left-hook strike, quickly knocking out 36-year-old Murata .
IBF 160-lb champion Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) struggled early but went into the second half to knock out Murata (16-3, 13 KOs) in the ninth round to claim his WBA title .
Inside the ring after the battle, Golovkin gave Murata his cloakwhich he put on and still wearing inside the dressing room when GGG went there to give him the title back.
It’s unclear if this means Golovkin doesn’t want to keep Murata’s WBA title or it’s just a symbolic gesture. If Golvokin chooses to decline the WBA title, it will be left blank or possibly even removed by the sanctioning body.
With his pressure and strong right arm, Murata gave Golovkin his toughest fight in years. If it weren’t for the resistance of Golovkin’s punch, Murata would have had a chance to win.
In the eyes of Murata tonight, it’s hard not to see this guy beat everyone that Canelo has beaten over the past two years to become the undisputed super-middleweight champion.
Murata looks like a better boxer than Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant, Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith.
The World Boxing Association is consolidating its titles in each division. Erislandy Lara holds the WBA middleweight belt.
Golovkin will move up to super middleweight to challenge undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez on September 17 if the Mexican star beats 175-lb WBA champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7.
Some boxing fans believe that 40-year-old Golovkin will retire if he loses to Canelo.
However, Golovkin will still have one more fight on his six-match contract with DAZN after he faces Canelo, so it is likely he will continue his career if he loses that match.