The boxing schedule is about to pick up. Over the next several months' fans will see some big title fights. Errol Spence Jr. vs Yordenis Ugas, Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte, Shakur Stevenson vs. Oscar Valdez, Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano, Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol, Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano, Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero and George Kambosos vs. Devin Haney are all on the docket between now and June 4. The first big title fight of that run goes down on Saturday, April 9 when Gennady Golovkin faces Ryota Murata at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Golovkin's IBF middleweight title is on the line in that matchup, as is Murata's WBA "super" middleweight crown.
- Date & Location: Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan
- Time: 5 a.m. ET
- How to Watch: DAZN
Golovkin has a 41-1-1 record heading into this matchup. The 39-year-old Golovkin celebrates his 40th birthday the day before the fight takes place, is on a three-fight winning streak. The only stains on Golovkin's record are a 2017 draw with Canelo Alvarez and a 2018 majority decision setback to Alvarez. According to The Ring, Golovkin is the No. 1 rated fighter competing in the middleweight division.
Murata, who "the bible of boxing" has listed as the No. 5 ranked middleweight fighter, sports a record of 16-2. The 36-year-old has won his past two trips to the ring. However, Saturday's fight marks the first bout for Murata since 2019. Murata's first defeat came in 2017 when he lost a controversial split decision to Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam. Murata avenged that defeat in a rematch, leaving N'Jikam unable to answer the bell to begin Round 8 of that bout. In 2018, Murata lost a unanimous decision to Rob Brant. There was no controversy in that contest, but Murata scored a knockout win over Brant in their rematch.