By: Hans Themistode
Despite turning 40-years-old just a few days ago, and regardless of being out of the ring for nearly two years, Gennadiy Golovkin wiped off the ring rust this past weekend, to become a unified middleweight champion.
The near 5 to 1 favorite stormed into the backyard of Ryota Murata at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, to register a ninth-round stoppage victory on the night. While the end result was exactly what Golovkin was envisioning, Murata gave him all he could handle.
In the early goings of their middleweight unification bout, Murata found success as he pumped out a consistent jab that repeatedly snapped the head back of Golovkin. Once Murata found his range, he attacked the midsection of his man. Although Murata seemed to be in control, Golovkin quelled his momentum in the second half.
A visibly tired Murata languished against the ropes as the championship rounds neared. In the ninth, with Murata seemingly on fumes, Golovkin violently ended the night with a short right hook that forced Murata’s corner to throw in the towel.
The win for the newly crowned unified champion not only allowed him to add another world title to his collection but he likely stamped a third meeting against Canelo Alvarez this coming September. First things first, however, Alvarez must get past WBA light heavyweight titlist, Dmitry Bivol.
With most of the boxing world eager to see what Golovkin had left in his 40-year-old body, Tim Bradley was left thoroughly unimpressed by his performance. Should Alvarez and Golovkin officially meet for a third and presumably final time, Bradley appeared apathetic about how their contest would officially play out.
“He’s gonna mop up Golovkin,” said Bradley to a group of reporters. “He looked terrible in the beginning and then he closed strong in the end. He showed that he has great condition, still has power. I saw some good lateral movement from him.”
That aforementioned power, of course, has always come to Golovkin’s rescue. Nevertheless, as Golovkin has aged, his overall skills seem to be eroding. While Bradley believes that Golovkin would still be a handful to a long list of fighters, he maintains that a third showdown against Alvarez will end badly.
“I see him stopping him bro. And if he doesn’t stop him he’s gonna hurt him. He’s gonna hurt him really badly. Canelo, I just believe is on another level from Golovkin.”
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