Gennadiy Golovkin stopped Ryota Murata in the ninth round to unify the IBF, IBO and WBA Middleweight Titles at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Golovkin returned to the boxing ring after a hiatus of more than 15 months against the Japanese star. The rustiness was evident in the early parts of the fight. However, we saw glimpses of the old 'GGG' as the contest went on. The Kazakh fighter used his jab efficiently and managed to constantly put pressure on Murata.
Although Golovkin looked like the more dominant fighter, Murata also did some damage to 'GGG'. However, the 40-year-old eventually made some real headway and established full control of the fight.
Despite it not being the best of displays from the middleweight champion, 'GGG' got the job done. Murata simply ran out of gas and even though he tried his best to continue, his corner had to throw in the towel in the ninth round.
Watch the highlights of Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Ryota Murata below:
With the win over Murata, Golovkin's professional boxing record now stands at 42 wins, one defeat, and one draw.
Gennadiy Golovkin does his part to set up trilogy with Canelo Alvarez
Following his win on Saturday, Gennadiy Golovkin has almost certainly secured a trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez. A third bout between the two men has been years in the making. Now, it looks like we might just see the pair cross paths inside the ring later this year.
As of today, Canelo Alvarez is one up on Golovkin. Their first fight in 2017 resulted in a draw. However, Alvarez ended up winning the rematch, handing 'GGG' his first-ever pro boxing loss.
The trilogy has only been made possible due to Canelo Alvarez signing a three-fight deal earlier this year. The Mexican is set to face Dmitry Bivol on May 7 for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship. If the pound-for-pound king gets past Bivol, he will be set for another clash with 'GGG'.
Golovkin and Canelo have already put together two extremely successful pay-per-view events in the past. It will be interesting to see the numbers they pull if their trilogy fight materializes later this year.