Gennadiy Golovkin is inching closer to a long-awaited trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez.
One day after he turned 40, Golovkin captured a second middleweight title with a ninth-round stoppage of Ryota Murata on Saturday at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) withstood some early rocky moments but turned the tide for good in Round 5 when he sent Murata’s mouthpiece flying with one of his vaunted looping right hands.
The future Hall of Famer began to push Murata back while he unloaded punishment on the Japanese star. The first punch Golovkin threw in Round 9, a powerful right hand, was the beginning of the end.
Murata (16-3, 13 KOs) was on unsteady legs as he attempted to survive along the ropes while Golovkin feinted and let his hands go looking for the fight-ending shot.
The 36-year-old was able to absorb the attack for a few moments before he landed a couple of punches on a seemingly exhausted Golovkin, who then floored Murata with another right hand, prompting the corner to throw in the towel for the stoppage victory.