World Boxing Association middleweight ‘’super’’ champion Ryota Murata of Teiken Boxing Gym displayed a public workout at the gym in Tokyo on Jan. 12, the first time Murata opened his heart and conditions since the postponement of his planned title unification fight on Dec. 29 with International Boxing Federation middleweight kingpin Gennadiy Gennadyevich Golovkin of Kazakhstan.
The postponement was announced on Dec. 3 as the Japanese government banned new entries of foreigners from around the world late last November amid concern over the novel coronavirus’s Omicron variant.
Since Jan. 12 fell on Murata’s 36th birthday, he said he is surprised about himself in that he is still an active boxer. Murata recalled that he told the press after winning the gold at the 2012 London Olympics that he would retire before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because he would be ‘’as old as’’ 34-years-old by the time of the Tokyo Olympics.
‘’You never know what life has in store for you. That’s my honest feeling,’’ Murata said, adding, ‘’We don’t know what will happen to our life. So, I cannot say I will quit boxing after my fight with Golovkin. You never can tell unless you get there.’’
Asked about his feelings when his coveted bout with Golovkin was postponed, Murata said, ‘’My challenging spirit lasted a week to 10 days initially, and then I was depressed for about a week by the fact that I cannot fight. And then, I gradually got back to normal.’’
While Murata has not been engaged in long-round sparring sessions like he used to with two sparing partners from Mexico, Adrian Luna and Jose de Jesus Macius, who have been in Japan since last November, Murata has been doing short rounds of sparring with them depending on the day.
‘’I sometimes wrap myself up in suspicion about the realization of the fight (with Golovkin). Honestly, I cannot motivate myself amid the current situation I am in,’’ Murata said. But he quicky added, ‘’I have been engaged in my routine training like doing roadwork, working out ordinary training at the gym, including physical training and sparring sessions. Doing daily training itself is important, and motivation only sets the stage for these training.’’
According to Teiken gym President Akihiko Honda, the gym is now hoping to have the fight (with Golovkin) in April since the government’s restrictions on entry to foreigners are likely to end at the end of February. The Golovkin side is well aware of the Japanese situation as GGG is said to be ready to wait so long as the Teiken side keeps its promise.
The only thing Honda is worried about is if the postponement is further prolonged, ‘’Murata’s feelings might not last any longer.’’
Murata last fought on Dec. 23, 2019 with Steven Butler of Canada and stopped him in the fifth round to successfully defend his title for the first time.