CHINKS started to show in Gennady Golovkin’s armour DESPITE securing a ninth-round knockout against Ryota Murata.
The 40-year-old’s IBF world middleweight title was on the line, but as was Murata’s WBA belt.
Murata started well in front of his home crowd inside the Super Arena, Japan.
Golovkin struggled to get close to Murata, who was keeping his distance and landing some good shots.
Murata was aggressive and Golovkin, who looked leggy at times, couldn’t get going.
But the momentum changed in round six after Golovkin knocked Murata’s gumshield out of his mouth with a vicious overhand right.
Read more in Boxing
Golovkin’s second wind kicked in.
The shot rocked Murata, who found himself backed up against the ropes.
As the rounds went on, Golovkin could see victory was near and upped the intensity, knowing his opponent couldn’t keep up.
And in round nine, the 42-1-1 big draw finished the fight with a right hand, knocking Murata to the floor.
Murata’s corner threw the towel in to get their fighter out of there before more damage was done.
The win potentially sets up a trilogy fight with legendary rival Canelo Alvarez.
The first time the two met in 2017, the unified WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO, Ring magazine, and lineal middleweight title fight ended a draw.
But in 2018, Mexican Canelo handed Golovkin the first loss of his professional boxing career.
And Golovkin has previously said he has the “secret” to beating Canelo.
He told SunSport last year: “Of course there is a secret.
“But it’s not the kind of secret you talk about, that’s the secret you demonstrate.
“The right publicity should be done, the organisers should make it happen and I’m sure Canelo has secrets against me, I have secrets against him.
“We all have keys to the victory and the only way to see if those keys fit the lock is to have this fight, to make it happen.”
Canelo is set to step back into the squared circle next month against WBA super light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
The pair will meet inside the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, on May 7.
Read More on SE
It will be Bivol’s fourth title defence since he first won back it back in 2017.
Canelo beat Caleb Plant in his last outing last November.