Hard-hitting Golovkin returns with unification bout in Japan


Gennady Golovkin will return to the boxing ring for the first time in a year when the hard-hitting Kazakh star takes on Ryota Murata in Japan next month, broadcaster DAZN said Friday.

IBF middleweight champion Golovkin faces Japanese WBA super-titlist Murata on December 29 in a unification bout in Saitama, north of Tokyo.

The 39-year-old Golovkin, also known as "GGG", last fought in December last year when he stopped Kamil Szeremeta in the seventh round after knocking the Polish challenger down four times.

"I am really excited to be bringing the 'Big Drama Show' to Japan, a country where boxing is very popular," Golovkin, a famously ferocious puncher with a 41-1-1 record, said in a statement.

"Ryota Murata has been an outstanding champion. It is going to be a special night when we fight in the ring to unify our titles."

Murata (16-2), a gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, will be returning to action for the first time in two years.

The 35-year-old beat Canada's Steven Butler in December 2019 to defend his WBA regular title.

But he then moved up to super champion when Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vacated the belt to move up to super-middleweight.

"I feel that my entire amateur and professional boxing career has been a preparation for this fight against Gennady Golovkin," Murata said.

"This fight will determine my place in the middleweight division and boxing history."