By Sean Jones: Eddie Hearn thinks Gennadiy Golovkin fought well for a fighter coming off a long 16-month layoff last Saturday night against Ryota Murata in Saitama, Japan.
Hearn says Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) had five things going against him in taking on WBA middleweight champion Murata ((16-3, 13 KOs) at the Saitama Super Arena.
GGG’s problems last Saturday:
- 400 days of activity
- Fighting in Japan against a star
- Golovkin is a slow starter
- Golovkin shouldn’t be fighting at 160
Hearn believes the 40-year-old Golovkin should already be campaigning at 168 at his age after spending his entire 16-year career at 160 without moving up.
In spite of all the things that Golovkin had going against him, he overcame his problems to defeat Murata by a ninth-round knockout.
Hearn explains why Golovkin struggled
“What people don’t take into account is, number one, Gennadiy Golovkin hasn’t boxed for over 400 days,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show on Gennadiy Golovkin’s performance against Ryota Murata last Saturday.
“Number two, Gennadiy Golovkin flew to Japan to fight the king of Japanese boxing, Ryota Murata. Number three, Gennadiy Golovkin always starts slow.
“And number four, there’s the argument of the age, etc, I’m not a big buyer of that. And number five, perhaps, more importantly, I don’t think Gennadiy Golovkin should be boxing at 160 lbs,”
“I actually go against some of the narratives, most people have got an agenda in that narrative, it was a really good performance.
“He went to the guy’s [Ryota Murata] backyard, he soaked up punishment, he comes through a couple of tough rounds, and he beat him up and stopped him and knocked him out and unified,” said Hearn about Golovkin’s performance against Murata.
GGG too easy to hit early
“I thought GGG looked a little too easy to hit early in that fight,” said Ken Rideout to THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas about last Saturday’s Golovkin vs. Murata fight in Saitama, Japan.
“The only good thing for him [Golovkin] in the end was the other guy [Murata] was even easier to hit,” said Teddy Atlas.
“And couldn’t absorb them the way GGG could,” said Rideout about Murata falling apart from the sixth round after being hit hard by a right hand from Golovkin.
“The only thing I could think is he’s [Golovkin] been off, he’s been in camp three times, he’s been out for over a year, and been through trials & tribulations just trying to get the [Murata] fight scheduled.
“Yeah, he was getting cracked early, and all I could think is that if he takes those early shots against Canelo, I don’t know that he absorbs them the way he did against Murata.
“Not that Murata can’t crack, but once GGG did start to turn the pressure, the minute the momentum switched to GGG, it was like a rock rolling downhill.
“He was just pouring it on and giving him shots from everywhere. Murata ate a lot of them. GGG is such a classy guy afterward. He gave him his beautiful robe that he wears, the Kazakhstan robe and he’s just a good guy.
“So when people give him crap about the whole Canelo thing, I think he was genuinely offended with the PED claims, and Canelo was trying to gaslight GGG. ‘How dare you say I used drugs.’
‘Dude, you [Canelo] got suspended for using drugs [clenbuterol] and upended the whole fight. Of course, I’m mad. Don’t be mad at me,’” said Rideout.
“No, he [Canelo] was eating Whoppers at a burger joint in Mexico, and you’ve heard about these Whoppers that they sometimes call the ‘super sauce,’” said Atlas in making fun of Canelo testing positive for the banned PED clenbuterol.
“The clenbuterol burger,” said Rideout. “It’s just funny. I like Canelo, but he tries to make GGG the bad guy for being upset that the guy was using drugs. Come on, dude.
“If you weren’t using drugs, prove it in court, but the drug test shows that you were using drugs and you’re the golden goose. If you weren’t doing that, there’s no way that anyone would even mention it,” said Rideout.
Golovkin took awhile to get engine running
“Anyway, GGG, once he got his engine revving in the fifth, sixth, seventh rounds, he started to look really good. Maybe a bit of flash of the old GGG, but I’m curious to hear what you thought and what you think about a potential Canelo rematch number three,” said Rideout.
“GGG came out and won the first round but not in the typical GGG engaging go and get you kind of way, seek & destroy kind of way,” Atlas said about Golovkin’s match against Murata last Saturday.
“He did it kind of like in the second Canelo fight. I thought he won both fights [against Canelo], and differently. In the first fight, I thought he beat Canelo by going and getting him, and in the second one, I thought he beat him by using his jab.
“That in some ways might be a testament to his or maybe an acknowledgment that he is 40 now. He wanted to come out and use his jab more, as he did in the second Canelo fight where he was a little older,” Atlas said about Golovkin.
“He used his jab much more. It didn’t last long, but he won the first round that way.
“Murata, a very game Murata, went and attacked him and put a lot of pressure on him, went to the body. He wound up hurting GGG to the body, and went to the body and was throwing a lot of punches.
“It really did look for a moment there that GGG was in a hell of a lot of trouble. He got himself out of it, but he was in a lot of trouble. It almost looked like he was going to get dominated if something didn’t change. Then something changed, he landed a big punch [in round six].
“To his credit, GGG, early it did look like what the old-timers would say where the guy gets old one night. It looked that way. You mentioned that he was having trouble. How much of that was because he was 40? How much was it because he was out for 14 months [correction: 16 months]?
“I know Murata was off for even longer, but Murata is a little younger. GGG, maybe it took a little while to get the engine running to get into gear, and it looked that way.
“The year and four months had something to do with it. Also, Murata jumped on him and didn’t give him a chance to acclimate if you will of being back in the ring after 16 months.
“I think that was all at play, but his experience, his heart, the great heart that champions have. That hasn’t gone away. Maybe some of his skills have been diminished.
“At that moment where he [Golovkin] looked like he got old, where he looked like he got diminished, but the championship heart of GGG was still there. He found a way and got himself into gear.
“Early on, it looked like his breathing was labored a little bit. Maybe because of all the reasons I said. The car had been sitting in the garage for too long, and it was going to take a while for the oil to get circulating through the cylinders. You could almost see it [with Golovkin],” said Atlas.