When Japan announced a temporary ban on travel to the country after the omicron COVID-19 variant, the cancellation of the middleweight championship uniform match between Gennadiy Golovkin and Ryoto Murata from the originally scheduled December 29 seems to be just a matter of time. The postponement was officially announced on Thursday night, and the promoters hope to reschedule the game to 2022.
Golovkin confirmed the news, Tweet“I am deeply disappointed that the battle in Japan has been postponed, but the health and safety of the public must always be the top priority. I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryōta as soon as possible.”
The postponement means that 2021 will officially become the first calendar year in which Golovkin has not participated in a game since he turned professional in 2006. The IBF middleweight champion has only participated in one match in 2020, beating Camille Szeremetta, who did not go out after the 7th game. round.
Golovkin will turn 40 in 2022, and the time for any possibility of a third fight with Canelo Alvarez may soon diminish. Alvarez continues to unify all four recognized super middleweight world championship titles and plans to switch to lightweight in an attempt to win the world championship in another heavyweight class. Coupled with Golovkin’s delayed fight, fans may never see the realization of the trilogy.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Murata has also seen his career stagnate to a large extent. After Murata won the WBA minor championship for the second time in his career in two battles in 2019, and was promoted to a full world championship by the sanctions body, Murata did not participate in the competition in 2020 or 2021.
Although the game is planned to be held in Japan, which means that COVID and travel must be monitored until a new date can be safely determined, there is no news about plans to reschedule the game date.