- Date & Location: Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
- Time: 5 a.m. ET
- How to Watch: DAZN
On Saturday, April 9, one of the most dominant forces in boxing over the past decade — Gennady Golovkin — steps into the ring and puts his IBF and IBO middleweight titles on the line against Ryota Murata, who is putting his WBA super middleweight crown at risk. The fight takes place at the vaunted Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Golovkin sports a 41-1-1 record heading into the matchup. The 39-year-old is on a three-fight winning streak. The only blemishes on his record are a 2017 draw with Canelo Alvarez and a 2018 majority decision loss to Alvarez. According to The Ring, Golovkin is the No. 1 ranked fighter at middleweight.
Murata, who The Ring has tabbed as the No. 5 ranked middleweight fighter, is 16-2. The 36-year-old is on a two-fight winning streak, but he has not fought since 2019. Murata’s losses came in 2017 and 2018. His first setback was a controversial split decision to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, who he beat in a rematch — N’Jikam did not answer the bell to start the eighth round. His next loss came to Rob Brant via unanimous decision. Murata knocked out Brant in their rematch.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata odds
Gennady Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata prediction and pick
The big question in this fight is time, as in, has time caught up with Golovkin, who turns 40 the day before this fight takes place. I’m not sure if this fight will answer that question because Golovkin is simply in a class above Ryota Murata, however, that doesn’t mean Murata isn’t a live underdog.
Golovkin is a powerful puncher with a ton of high-level experience. Murata is a powerful puncher without much high-level experience.
Golovkin has a high fight IQ, a good jab, top-level boxing skills, great bodywork and the ability to take a shot. Murata is going to test all of those aspects of Golovkin’s game, but the difference in experience and the time away from the ring will hurt Murata in this fight and lead to him losing.
This will be a fantastic learning experience for Murata, but it will not be a fight he will win.
Pick: Golovkin to beat Murata.
Betting value with Golovkin
With Golovkin being the monster favorite in this fight, he’s not a great value with a straight win pick. The value in Golovkin comes in the over/under in rounds and the method of victory.
I think Golovkin’s skills, fight IQ and ability to land powerful body shots will carry him to a knockout victory in the second half of the fight.
Prediction: Golovkin via knockout.
What’s at stake
There have been rumblings of a trilogy fight between Golovkin and Alvarez. In order for that to happen, Golovkin needs to get a win against Murata and Alvarez has to get by Dmitry Bivol in May. If both fighters win, expect both legends to angle for that monster payday. With that, Murata is in position to spoil that fight and earn himself an enormous payday of his own if he pulls off the upset victory over Golovkin.
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