By: Sean Crose
He’s defeated every man he’s ever met in the ring. Even the two opponents who happened to defeat him ended up tasting defeat themselves when they did battle with the man a second time. Out of all his 16 victories, only 3 have gone the distance. At thirty-six he is still young. What’s more, the man holds a world title in the middleweight division. Make no mistake about it, Ryoto Murata is quite the successful professional fighter. Now, on the cusp of the biggest fight of his entire career, Murata prepares himself to face none other than Gennady Golovkin, the legendary GGG himself.
The attention, of course, is on Golovkin, who hasn’t seen action in well over a year. It’s Golovkin, after all, who will most likely have a third fight with arch rival Canelo Alvarez should he best Murata in the ring. It’s also Golovkin who will be the far more well known fighter when he steps into the ring this Saturday at Japan’s Saitama Super Arena. Yet Murata, like Golovkin, will slip through the ropes this weekend as a world titlist. It will also be Murata, not the IBF world titlist Golovkin, who will be fighting live in front of his own countrymen.
The Tokyo based slugger, however, is too much of a gentleman to engage in the kind of trash talk that’s all too common (and popular) in today’s fight world. “It is an honor to share the ring with the great champion Gennady Golovkin,” JAPANForward quotes Murata as saying. “I am extremely pleased to be part of this historic middleweight title unification fight here in Japan. On April 9th, victory will be mine and Japan will have a unified world middleweight champion.” Sure enough, the winner of this weekend’s bout will have both the WBA and IBF world middleweight titles in his possession.
Yet Golovkin, like Murata, has come across as sportsmanlike in the leadup to Saturday’s throwdown. “I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers from Japan for their hard work and full support of the upcoming unification fight,” his says, via JAPANForward. “Ryota Murata is an outstanding champion. I believe that boxing fans from this beautiful country and around the world will see an exciting event. I look forward to getting back in the ring and bringing the Big Drama Show to Japan.”
All the niceties in the world, however, can’t erase the fact that Murata and Golovkin are pure warriors and that fireworks may well be in order after the opening bell rings at Saitama Super Arena on Saturday. The bout offers the opportunity for fans to witness a true action fight – and it offers the opportunity of a lifetime for one Ryoto Murata.