KEY POINTS

  • Golovkin and Murata will have to wait at least until the first quarter of 2022 to unify middleweight belts
  • Golovkin airs his disappointment over the postponement of his fight
  • The rescheduling of his fight against Murata may affect his bid for a third fight with Alvarez

The scheduled unification bout pitting IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin against WBA titleholder Ryota Murata was postponed due to the threats caused by the Omicron variant.

Both fighters were originally set to happen on December 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

No thanks to the Omicron variant, Japan was forced to reinstate stricter border controls in the country, ESPN reported.

The fight has now been moved to the first quarter of 2022, but this may also depend on the situation in the country.

Golovkin, who last saw ring action in Dec 2020, was disappointed with the development.

"I am deeply disappointed that the fight in Japan has been postponed, but the health and safety of the public must always be the priority. I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryota as soon as possible," Golovkin posted on social media.

It would be a telling blow for Golovkin who will be turning 40 on April 8.

The postponement also means that 2021 would be the year that the Kazakh boxer has not seen annual action since 2006.

It also puts his potential trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez in peril.

 Gennady Golovkin boxes against Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Gennady Golovkin boxes against Sergiy Derevyanchenko Getty Images | Steven Ryan

Aside from the GGG vs. Murata fight, other fights set to happen in Japan this month may likely be postponed. That may include the junior bantamweight unification between Kazuto Ioka and Jerwin Ancajas although nothing has been officially announced as of this writing, according to SB Nation.

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