By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Japan’s national hero, 2012 Olympic gold medalist and currently WBA middleweight super champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) celebrated his thirty-sixth birthday and demonstrated a public workout on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Murata has been eagerly anticipating that an oft-postponed unification bout with IBF titleholder Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs), 39, will realize soon. He was slated to face GGG here on December 29, but the omicron variant eventually forced it to be put off on December 3.
Before a big birthday cake prepared by Teiken Gym, Murata said to the press, “When I acquired the gold medal in London in 2012, people asked about a possibility of competing again in the Tokyo Olympic Games. I then denied it, saying that then I’ll be thirty-four in 2020 and that’s impossible. It is, however, surprising that I, at 36, am still active, pursuing my career. I now devote all myself to training diligently.”
His promoter Akihiko Honda also said, “We expect the government’s restriction of foreign visitors to enter Japan to be over in the end of February, and the Murata-GGG event will take place in April.” We are eager to watch the sensational unification bout to materialize as planned.