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Golovkin’s trainer, Jonathon Banks: Murata is a winner, we know we are in for a tough fight

Gennadiy Golovkin (left) and trainer Johnathon Banks. Photo credit: DAZN/ GGG Promotions
Fighters Network

TOKYO (April 4, 2022) — Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, boxing’s most dominant middleweight of his era, has brought the Big Drama Show and his IBF and IBO world titles to Japan last week. Golovkin has crossed the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean to face two-time WBA middleweight champion and Japan’s national hero Ryōta Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) in a long-awaited world title unification fight. Promoted by Teiken Promotions, in association with GGG promotions, Golovkin vs. Murata will take place this Saturday, April 9, and will be streamed live from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, which borders Murata’s hometown of Tokyo, to over 200 countries and territories, including the U.S., exclusively on DAZN (excluding Japan and Kazakhstan). The DAZN stream start time will be announced shortly. Golovkin and Murata boast a combined record of 57-3-1, 49 KOs — a winning percentage of over 93% — with 86% of their victories coming by way of knockout.

Golovkin’s Big Drama Show has packed iconic arenas around the world, selling out Madison Square Garden, The O2 in London, the Fabulous Forum and StubHub Center in Los Angeles, and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Saitama Super Arena is expected to join that illustrious list. Golovkin has been a middleweight world champion every year since 2010, a testament to his discipline, drive, and talent. His résumé includes a division-record 21 title defenses, 20 of them consecutively, also a division record.

Here’s what Golovkin trainer Johnathon Banks had to say about Murata, training, and fighting in enemy territory.

“Murata is a winner. He has proven that as an Olympian, winning the gold medal, and as a professional, winning the WBA title twice. We know we are in for a tough fight on Saturday. And while the boxing fans of Japan are some of the best in the world, they will be rooting for their national hero Ryōta Murata, as they should.

“For some fighters a home game is a bonus. When working with Detroit-based fighters at Kronk, I’ve seen them do things in a local fight that shocked me, fighting way above their usual level. They get a charge from the hometown crowd. It’s as if a power comes up from the ground under them and gives them an extra boost. And while that may benefit Murata, Gennadiy will not be intimidated by it. He’s been fighting on the road for most of his career. I remember seeing Michael Jordan drop 50-60 points at The Garden. Playing an away game didn’t seem to bother him. Gennadiy is the same way. He knows boxing is also a business and some deals can only get done if they are conducted in someone else’s office. But Gennadiy never gets distracted. He is so focused on reunifying the middleweight title belts around his waist. Gennadiy is really looking forward to fighting before this sellout crowd on Saturday.

“This is our fourth fight together. We have been building on what Gennadiy has learned while incorporating what made him so special as an amateur, working on the basics –timing, rhythm, and speed. In boxing, to remain at the elite level, you either evolve or die. He’s not depending solely on power punching. I still remember sitting with Emanuel Steward at amateur tournaments and both of us marveling at Gennadiy’s all-round abilities inside the ring. He was an extraordinary power-punching boxer. He could do anything he wanted. He will be forty and a day when he enters the ring on Saturday, and he still approaches training like he’s a young and hungry top-rated contender. He’s really enjoying himself in the gym and it shows in his work ethic and the results. Gennadiy’s an athlete’s athlete.”

Press conference courtesy of GGG Promotions.