Gennadiy Golovkin news: Five-fight form guide ahead of his highly anticipated boxing return

On fight week, Planet Sport takes a look at GGG's last five fights that date back to 2018 ahead of his middleweight showdown.

IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin is finally set to return to the ring when he faces WBA (Super) titlist Ryota Murata in Japan on April 9.

It will be Golovkin's first fight in Japan but most importantly, it's a huge unification bout in the middleweight division.

The pair were originally set to clash in December 2021 only for the bout to be postponed due to Japan's Covid-19 regulations amid rising cases.

Both Chris Eubank Jr and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez have been mentioned as potential opponents this year but first of all, he must overcome Murata - a win which would be some accomplishment considering Golovkin is approaching 40.

So before Golovkin laces up the gloves again, Planet Sport looks back at GGG's last five fights.

Golovkin vs Kamil Szeremeta (December 2020)

Last time out, Golovkin made the first defence of his IBF and IBO belts against his mandatory, Szeremeta.

The challenger was unbeaten from his 21 fights (five wins via KO/TKO) ahead of his first shot at a world title.

Szeremeta had not previously been tested at world level and the gap in quality between himself and Golovkin showed on the night.

The 40-year-old displayed no sign of his age as he knocked down Szeremeta in the first and second round. Two further knockdowns followed before the bout was waved off before the eighth round got going.

This was a trademark performance from the pound-for-pound great as he dismantled his opponent.

Golovkin vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko (October 2019)

In October 2019, Golovkin fought Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF and IBO middleweight belts.

The Ukrainian's only prior world title fight ended in defeat as he was beaten by Daniel Jacobs via split decision in 2018.

Golovkin was the heavy favourite to become a world champion once again, but his fight with Derevyanchenko soon turned into a slugfest.

GGG looked to be on course for a decisive victory when he knocked down his opponent before the close of the opening round.

Derevyanchenko valiantly battled on and caused Golovkin a lot of problems as the fight proved to be a close-fought contest.

Golovkin was visibly hurt at certain points but he still did enough to triumph via unanimous decision. All judges saw it in his favour as it was scored 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113.

Golovkin vs Steve Rolls (June 2019)

Middleweight Gennady Golovkin fights Steve Rolls

Following the first defeat of his career (more on that in a little bit), Golovkin returned after nine months out against Rolls in a catchweight bout at Madison Square Garden.

The Canadian was unbeaten from his 19 fights as a professional. Ten of those wins had come via KO/TKO, but compared to his previous opponents, he was facing a completely different animal in Golovkin.

That was clear on the night as Golovkin asserted his dominance from the opening bell. He stepped forward and took the fight to Rolls, who had no answer for his opponent's sheer power.

A knockout felt inevitable and it came in the fourth as Golovkin brutally floored his opponent with a left hand.

Rolls bravely tried to return to his feet but it was to no avail as the Kazakhstan fighter added yet another KO to his record.

Golovkin vs Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez II (September 2018)

The rivals first fought a year earlier in 2017. It was a war as two of the greatest boxers of their era fought over the WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO and The Ring middleweight titles.

This was one of the best fights in 2017 and it ended as a split decision draw. It was considered to be a fair outcome as Golovkin dictated the pace, but Alvarez was more successful with his punches.

After an unplanned delay, the rematch was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada in September 2018.

Their second bout was close once again as they exchanged heavy punches throughout the contest.

Alvarez was more attack-minded this time around but Golovkin used his jab expertly to keep the Mexican at bay.

Once again, the fight went the distance and as to be expected the night ended in controversy.

Golovkin was widely considered to be the deserving winner as he edged out Alvarez. The judges disagreed though, as Golovkin was beaten by majority decision.

It was scored 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 on the side of Alvarez. Barring his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr, these fights with Golovkin are the only blights on his record.

A trilogy bout has been talked about ever since this rematch and we are expecting to see it in 2022.

Golovkin vs Vanes Martirosyan (May 2018)

The Golovki-Alvarez rematch was initially set to take place in May but it had to be put back as Alvarez tested positive for a banned substance in the build-up.

Admirably, Golovkin pushed ahead with his May fight date anyway. Jaime Munguia was talked about as a new opponent but he ended up facing Martirosyan.

This decision was questioned at the time. The American had previously unsuccessfully fought for a world title but he was coming back from two years of inactivity and he was beaten by Erislandy Lara in his last bout.

Fighting a last-minute replacement is always risky for boxers. You only have to look back on Anthony Joshua's loss to Andy Ruiz to find a champion who overlooked an unanticipated opponent.

If Golovkin had done this, he could have been forgiven considering Alvarez was waiting for him in the distance.

To GGG's credit, any concerns about his psyche were quashed as he stopped Martirosyan early.

The champion applied pressure in the first round before Martirosyan plummeted to the canvas following a combination of spiteful power punches.

As has been the case for most of his opponents over the past 15 plus years, Golovkin's power was too much for Martirosyan, who has not fought since.

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