In the first five rounds Gennadiy Golovkin acted his age versus Ryoto Murata on Saturday night in Saitama, Japan, and on DAZN. Then GGG acted like 40 is the new 30, and broke down the ultra game underdog. Yes, hope is kept alive for Canelo v GGG 3, as the Kazakh OG won by TKO9 when Team Murata tossed in the towel of surrender.
GGG (41-1-1; IBF and IBO champion) came to the ring having turned 40 on Friday and with questions in the minds of watchers: Is he going to be the old GGG, or an old GGG? Murata, 16-2 coming in, reps Tokyo, and arrived with the WBO middleweight belt round his waist.
In the first, Murata showed he wasn’t awed, he looked to be aggressive. The GGG jab was on point in a tight round. In the second, Murata impressed with his volume. He was the man pushing the action. GGG was backing up a lot, though his volume was also solid. Both scored with left hooks to the body but Murata took the round.
GGG started the third more aggressive. He got right in Murata’s face. This was another busy round, and a left hook from Murata clanged hard with a minute left. Yet another tight round. In the fourth, more Murata effectiveness. “He looks very uncomfortable,” analyst Chris Algieri said of Golovkin. But Murata’s face was marked up, even as he advanced. GGG’s feet were not light, he was there to be hit, though to be sure he was landing meaningful shots.
In the fifth, GGG came forward more. Murata hung right in, and this was another back n forth round. Murata scored with an uppercut and his punch variety was superb. In the sixth, GGG knocked out the mouthpiece of Murata. A right hand did it and Golovkin amped it up more. More movement from GGG helped his efficacy, Murata had more trouble finding him.
In the seventh, GGG made himself a harder target, and he ripped left hooks to fine effect. This was another excellent GGG round, GGG was like his old Terminator self. In the eighth, Murata tried to revert to the beginning rounds, he tried to be the aggressor. Nope, GGG wasn’t allowing it. Again, more active movement from GGG helped his cause, he was in a good rhythm. The GGG jab thudded hard once again.
In the ninth, GGG landed a nasty right, and he pressed to close the show. He nearly did but Murata stayed on his feet, stubbornly. He flurried, but it was just a reprieve. Murata hit the deck, and his corner tossed in the towel. A right hand stab put him to his knees and his corner saw he was done.
GGG thanked the crowd for attending, and the organizers. He lauded Murata for being a most worthy foe, “a true warrior, he fought to the very end.” The winner shouted out Kazakhstan to end his remarks.