Gennadiy Golovkin vs Ryota Murata fight prediction, odds, start time, undercard, live stream, expert picks

While every fighter has reasons to want to win every fight, Gennadiy Golovkin comes into Saturday’s fight with Ryota Murata with millions and millions more reasons than most. As long as Golovkin can beat Murata and unify the IBF and WBA middleweight championships, he’s set for a huge trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez to end the year. That, of course, assumes Alvarez is also capable of beating Dmitry Bivol on May 7.

Murata is far from a pushover and shouldn’t be treated as just a bump in the road en route to Golovkin against Alvarez 3. Additionally, Murata has ringside advantage at home with the fight taking place from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan (5:10 a.m. ET, DAZN).

In 18 professional fights, Murata suffered two defeats, although he avenged both decisively. Murata lost a WBA regular title fight, a secondary belt for the sanctioning body, to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in May 2017. In October, Murata avenged that split decision by forcing N’Jikam’s corner to throw in the towel after seven rounds.

His second loss played out much the same way, with Rob Brant making a decision in October 2018 only for Murata to return in their rematch the following July with a relentless onslaught of power shots that forced a second-round stoppage. .

Golovkin turns 40 on Friday and is likely in the final years of his time as a top fighter. Knowing that makes it all the more important that Golovkin manages to get past a tough, charged fighter in Murata.

Golovkin used the momentum of a career-opening 37 straight wins, most by knockout, to land his first fight with Alvarez. Although it looks like Golovkin did enough to claim the victory, the fight ended in a draw, with acceptable scorecards of 115-113 for Golovkin and a 114-114 draw offset by a baffling card of 118-110 was handed to Alvarez.

The second fight, which was just as good, if not better than the first, also caused controversy. Alvarez won a disputed majority decision.

When it seemed obvious the two were set to fight for the third time, Alvarez repeatedly dismissed the idea and Golovkin moved on to pick up wins over Steve Rolls, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Kamil Szeremeta, while calling for his luck. to get Alvarez in the ring one last time.

That opportunity finally presented itself when it was announced that Alvarez had signed a multi-fight deal with DAZN in which the second fight would be with Golovkin as long as both men passed their next tests.

For now, all the pressure is on Golovkin. Defeat a tough, slightly younger foe, unify a pair of titles, and win the fight he’s been craving for years.

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The undercard features an intriguing flyweight title fight when Junto Nakatani puts his WBO championship on the line against Ryoto Yamauchi. Nakatani, 24, is unbeaten at 22-0 with 17 knockouts so far in his young career. He made one defense of his title, stopping Angel Acosta last September on his United States debut. Yamauchi, meanwhile, is 8-1 with seven knockouts on his resume, although Nakatani is clearly the toughest opponent he has faced in his career.

Let’s take a closer look at the odds before we come to a prediction and choose the main event. Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Golovkin vs. Murata card, odds

Gennady Golovkin (c) -490

Ryota Murata (c) +370

WBA and IBF middleweight titles

Shuichiro Yoshino-175

Masayuki Itō +150

Lightweight

Junto Nakatani (c)-2000

Ryota Yamauchi +1000

WBO flyweight title

Kazuki Anaguchi

Ryuji Yamamoto

super bantamweight

Hiroka Amaki

Taiga Kato

Welterweight

Prediction

Golovkin is still a formidable fighter, although more and more moments have shown themselves in recent fights where he can slip a bit of his absolute best. Both men share similar styles, pressing down and throwing heavy punches. That said, even though Murata is a talented and powerful fighter, Golovkin has the best overall skills. A red flag, however, is that Murata isn’t shy about throwing to the body and Golovkin was very hampered by Derevyanchenko’s bodywork during their very close fight in October 2019. The key to Murata’s success beyond the chance of landing a fight-ending punch would be to work Golovkin’s body at every opportunity.

Still, Golovkin is the smart choice here simply based on the fact that he’s probably even better at 40 than Murata has ever been in his career and Murata isn’t exactly young at 36. Expect fireworks and a surprisingly close fight, but one that Golovkin can possibly get the best of. Pick: Gennadiy Golovkin via UD