KEY POINTS

  • Gennady Golovkin is set to face fellow champion Ryota Murata in December
  • Murata could spoil Golovkin's plan for a third fight against Canelo Alvarez
  • Golovkin has yet to decide if he will fight at 168 pounds to face Alvarez

IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will be facing WBA titleholder Ryota Murata in a planned unification contest on Dec. 28, per Mike Coppinger of The Athletic.

The clash will happen in Tokyo, and both boxers will have a warmup fight before that big showdown.

The IBF middleweight title has been in Golovkin's possession since 2019 when he defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenko via unanimous decision. His last defeat or draw was at the hands of Mexican rival Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

Murata, on the other hand, was promoted to “super” champion at middleweight in January following a resolution by the WBA.

The Japanese held the “regular” middleweight champion in 2019, defeating Rob Brant via TKO in the second round at the EDION Arena in Osaka Japan.

This development aligns with the plans of promoter Eddie Hearn who mentioned in Golovkin’s last fight that a December fight with Murata was being planned.

However, it also temporarily shelves any hope of an Alvarez vs. Golovkin trilogy.

The Mexican boxer is reportedly set to face Caleb Plant next, possibly in September to become the undisputed super middleweight champion.

Alvarez is coming off a big demolition job of Billy Joe Saunders earlier this month.

Regardless, an Alvarez vs. Golovkin trilogy remains up in the air--with “Cinnamon” claiming he wants another crack at the Kazakh hard-hitter under a special condition.

Ryoto Murata (L) of Japan and Gaston Vega of Argentina Ryoto Murata (L) of Japan and Gaston Vega of Argentina Photo: Getty Images | JOHANNES EISELE/AFP

“If the [GGG] fight happens after unifying at 168 pounds, I’m open to anything, but it would be at 168 pounds,” Alvarez stated. “If [Golovkin] wants to fight with me, he has to do it at 168. Why wouldn’t he do it? I went up from 154 to 160 to fight with him.”

Golovkin has established himself as one of the best fighters in the 160-pound weight class. However, it remains to be seen if he will be open to the idea of moving up to 168 pounds in order to face Alvarez for the third time.