Gennady Golovkin returns the belt to defeated Ryota Murata in an emotional gesture

Golovkin entered Murata’s dressing room to return the WBA middleweight world title to his defeated rival after scoring a KO win in the unification bout to build a trilogy with Canelo Alvarez

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Cristiano Ronaldo is catching up with boxer Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin returned the WBA middleweight title to defeated Ryota Murata after securing victory in a unification bout.

The Kazakh star returned to the ring for the first time in over a year after defeating Kamil Szeremeta in December 2020. Although Golovkin did not proceed entirely in his own way managed to rally to a ninth round stoppage with a clean right hand to close the show.

After securing the win, Golovkin decided to make an emotional gesture towards his opponent and footage showed him entering his ring rival’s dressing room. He entered the room and handed the belt to Murata, saying, “This is your belt for life now.” The pair then shook hands and hugged, showing a clear level of respect for one another afterwards Golovkin walked away with the unified titles.

Golovkin also presented Murata with his fighting robes after the final bell rang, with the Japanese star opting to wear the garmant as he exited the ring and in further images with his rival. Golovkin posed for a photo with Murata after spending some time in his opponent’s dressing room, with the Japanese star visibly emotional after the loss.

Murata started the contest with a particularly strong second round as the better of the two as he landed several crisp shots, with Golovkin failing to find an early rhythm. The Japanese star continued to make multiple opens throughout the first four rounds, with the competition looking evenly matched early on.

However, the 40-year-old star upped the tempo and stiffened his rival’s legs with a powerful left hook that seemed to turn the tide of the early momentum. Golovkin unbalanced his opponent with another explosive shot in the sixth round as he began to take complete control of the action.

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After struggling to make his breakthrough, Golovkin began his attack in the ninth round after tagging his opponent with a right hand for just five seconds. He lunged for vicious body shots on his opening landing while his opponent desperately covered the ropes. Golovkin landed another right hand on Murata, who stretched him to the canvas.

Referee Luis Pabon began counting for the knockdown, but the towel came out of the defeated Japanese’s corner and the bout was stopped by the official to give Golovkin his 41st pro win. The Kazakh star has now done his part to secure an illustrious trilogy with Canelo Alvarez, which is expected to premiere in September.

Alvarez will must now defeat Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas on May 7th to arrange the third meeting between the two, with the Mexican being the only one to have defeated Golovkin, albeit in a controversial manner. The aging star has stressed his desire to settle scores with the pound-for-pound king with all the marbles on offer at £168.

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