Golovkin World Cup fight in Japan postponed due to border ban – archyde

Tokyo (AFP) – Gennady Golovkin’s World Championship fight against Ryota Murata in Japan was postponed “until next spring” on Friday because foreign newcomers were banned due to the Omicron variant.

The hard-hitting Kazakh boxer was set to return to the ring after a year-long absence with a unification match against Japanese WBA super titleist Murata on December 29 in Saitama, north of Tokyo.

But promoter Teiken announced on Friday that the fight would be postponed to a yet-to-be-decided date next spring as Golovkin and his team would not be able to enter Japan due to immigration regulations.

IBF Middleweight Champion Golovkin, also known as “GGG,” tweeted that he was “deeply disappointed” but “the health and safety of the public must always come first”.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to the ring against Ryota as soon as possible,” added the 39-year-old.

The Japanese government announced on Monday that it would ban all newcomers because of the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant.

On Thursday, the figure skating bosses announced that the sport’s Grand Prix final will no longer take place in Osaka as planned next week.

“All parties concerned will sit down for talks and keep a close eye on the infection situation and check a new date for the game,” said a statement on Teiken’s website.

The notoriously hard hitting Golovkin last fought last December when he stopped Kamil Szeremeta in the seventh round after knocking the Polish challenger down four times.

Golovkin, who has a 41-1-1 record, is currently training in Florida.

Murata (16-2), gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympics, was due to return for the first time in two years.

When the fight was announced, the 35-year-old said he felt that his “whole amateur and professional boxing career was a preparation for this fight against Gennady Golovkin”.

Several international sporting events scheduled to take place in Japan this year have been canceled or relocated, including the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Japanese boxer Naoya Inoue, the reigning WBA and IBF bantamweight champion, will face Thailand’s Aran Dipaen in a World Championship match in Tokyo on December 14th.

This fight is expected to continue as Dipaen and his team arrived in Japan last week.

Japan’s borders were almost completely closed to new overseas visitors during most of the pandemic.


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