The upcoming title unification fight between IBF, IBO middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) and WBA middleweight titleholder Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs), which was originally scheduled to take place on 29th December in Saitama, Japan, has been slapped with a postponement all the way into the first quarter of 2022, due to the emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 virus that has made the country reimpose strict travel bans.
Deeply disappointed: Golovkin reacts to the postponement of his fight against Murata
Golovkin vs. Murata was announced back in mid-November, co-promoted by GGG Promotions and Teiken Promotions Inc. The fight will take place at the Saitama Super Arena and will be streamed live on DAZN worldwide, except for Japan and Kazakhstan.
However, with the rising threat of Omicron, many countries are imposing travel bans and Japan followes suit, deeming the fight impossible to take place on 29th December, as Golovkin himself revealed to the fans on Twitter.
“I am deeply disappointed that fight in Japan has been postponed but the health and safety of the public must always be the priority. I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryota as soon as possible,” tweeted Golovkin.
I am deeply disappointed that fight in Japan has been postponed but the health and safety of the public must always be the priority. I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryōta as soon as possible.
— Gennadiy Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) December 3, 2021
Considered as one of the best boxers of this generation as well as one of the best middleweights of all time, Golovkin was last seen in action last December, defending his IBF and IBO belts against Kamil Szeremeta at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Florida.
With the advantage of the fight taking place on his home soil, Murata will be breaking his two year hiatus away from the ring, since defeating Steven Butler in December 2019. The 35-year-old, who has been WBA’s regular champion since 2017, was elevated to ‘Super’ status in January this year.
- Golovkin vs. Murata has been postponed to the first quarter of 2022 due to travel restrictions in Japan
- The two were originally scheduled to face off on 29th December in Saitama