Who Is Ryota Murata – Gennady Golovkin’s Next Opponent?

Published 10/28/2021, 8:40 AM EDT
Boxer Ryota Murata of Japan gestures after his middleweight bout fight with Gaston Vega of Argentina in Shanghai, China, January 30, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song


Ryota Murata will bring back Gennady Golovkin in action to unify his WBA straps with GGG’s IBO and IBF titles. The fight seems to be a done deal and can happen on December 11 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. If everything falls in place, Golovkin will re-enter the ring almost a year after his bout against Kamil Szeremeta. Meanwhile, Murata will end a two-year hiatus.

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Despite being out of action for such a long period, Ryota Murata has still held the WBA belt. He will look to be a unified champion and claim a massive win against an active legend. As GGG will be the biggest name on his professional resume, it will demand more from him.

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ESPN claims Murata vs GGG was favored to happen back in 2018. It was on until Gennady Golovkin chose to battle Canelo Alvarez in a mega-fight. While Murata finally seems to have earned his shot at Golovkin, here’s what you need to know about him.

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Ryota Murata is putting Japan on the global map

35-year-old Murata began his boxing career pretty late. He laced the gloves as an amateur at 21, but was ahead of several boxers in his loop. In five years as an amateur, he amassed a 12-2 record with 3 KO wins. It was a perfect route to enter the professional ride. In 2013, Murata made his pro debut in Japan against Akio Shibata and claimed a TKO victory.

The 27-year-old then went on a tear and bashed everyone in his way until his first attempt at the world title. In 2017, he suffered his maiden career defeat against Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam via split-decision for the vacant WBA title. Nevertheless, he avenged the loss in an immediate re-match five months later.

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Following two successful defenses, Ryota Murata fell prey to Rob Brant via unanimous decision in 2018. He avenged the loss again 9 months later via TKO, becoming 2x middleweight titlist. As of now, Murata is 16-2 with 13 KOs under his name.

Despite all the success, the Japanese boxer is still not a household name to the global audience, which his fight against GGG can solve.

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He has 75.8 K followers on Instagram and also has a YouTube channel with 37.4k subscribers. With the potential to become a star, a win against Golovkin can be his ticket to global fame.

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Raj Sarkar

2729 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. Combining his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports, he has earned a combined 3000 plus bylines over the last two years.

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