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Boxing’s spring season brings the shows and blows April 9

Written By | Apr 8, 2022
Boxing for breakfast from Japan as Gennadiy Golovkin faces Ryota Murata in Japan. Photo: Naoki Fukuda/Facebook boxing's spring season

Boxing for breakfast from Japan as Gennadiy Golovkin faces Ryota Murata in Japan. Photo: Naoki Fukuda/Facebook

SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 8, 2022 – Boxing fans know the fight schedule the first few months of the year dances around other sporting events like the Super Bowl and March Madness.

Come April, boxing season begins. Call it April’s Blows and May’s Shows. It kicks off this Saturday with multiple major events around the world. Check your schedule and plan to set a reminder alarm or two with our schedule. Multiple screens are a plus.

Golovkin vs. Murata, DAZN, 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT

Saitama Sports Arena, Saitama (Tokyo) Japan

Golovkin vs. Murata is a massive event for passionate Japanese boxing fans. Photo: Naoki Fukuda/Facebook boxing's spri

Golovkin vs. Murata is a massive event for passionate Japanese boxing fans. Photo: Naoki Fukuda/Facebook

Early Saturday in the US, IBF World Middleweight Champion Gennadiy Golovkin returns to the ring for just his second fight in 911 days, and one day after turning 40 years old in Saitama, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo. Golovkin of Kazakhstan (41-1-1, 36 KOs) faces Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) who holds the WBA World Middleweight title although in reality, it’s a vacant title shot for both of them.

After Japanese matchups on the undercard, the main event ring walk could take place as early as 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT.  Keep an eye on your Twitter feed for the latest.

At the final pre-fight news conference, Golovkin expressed appreciation for the enthusiasm of the knowledgeable fans in Japan.

“Murata is the most important fight. Period. I do not look ahead. I have been fully invested in training for the fight I have in front of me. I have too much respect for Murata and his body of work. My focus is on him and winning his title. That is why I am in Japan. Murata is a good, solid fighter. There is a reason he has been an Olympic gold medalist and is a two-time WBA world champion.”

Happy 40th birthday to Gennadiy Golovkin! Save the cake for the win. Photo: DAZN Boxing/Twitter

Happy 40th birthday to Gennadiy Golovkin. Save the cake for the win. Photo: DAZN Boxing/Twitter

“I am going to be 40 on Friday but I feel good. I will continue fighting as long as I feel good and can train hard to fight at the level I have come to expect of myself. Living a healthy lifestyle keeps me feeling good, strong,” said Golovkin, who trained in south Florida after the fight was delayed from its original New Year’s Eve date.

Golovkin says he’ll continue fighting “as long as I feel good and can train hard to fight at the level I have come to expect of myself,” but also insisted he is not looking beyond Saturday. Nevertheless, Golovkin appears fit and motivated with the potential of a third fight with his nemesis Canelo Alvarez with a victory. Murata is an Olympic gold medalist with a good chin who’s never been stopped and who’s avenged his only losses, so he’ll put up some resistance. It’s not so much about whether Golovkin wins, but how he looks doing it. Prediction: Golovkin by ninth-round TKO.

Garcia vs. Tagoe, DAZN, 8 pm ET/5 pm PT

The Alamodome,  San Antonio, Texas

Ryan Garcia also returns to the ring after a prolonged absence armed with a new trainer to face Emmanuel Tagoe of Ghana. Photo: Golden Boy Boxing

Lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia of Victorville (21-0, 18 KOs) is also returning to the ring in San Antonio after a long absence, and he’s also under pressure to look good against Emmanuel Tagoe of Ghana (32-1, 15 KOs). Garcia fights for the first time working with veteran trainer Joe Goossen. He looks fit and enthusiastic, and he’s promised to deliver a show. Tagoe’s only loss was his debut fight so consider it meaningless. He’s never fought in the US. Ghanian fighters are tough and sincere, but Garcia has legitimate power and speed. He’ll only go rounds if Goossen wants to see him put some miles on the tires. Prediction: Garcia by sixth-round KO.

Gabe Rosado (left) and Shane Mosley Jr. should provide fans plenty of action. Photo: Golden Boy Boxing

The undercard features the return of popular power puncher Gabe Rosado of Philadelphia (26-14-1, 15 KOs) in a dandy co-main matchup against Shane Mosley Jr. of Pomona (17-4, 10 KOs). Rosado is riding his late career resurgence and we’re here for it. Prediction: Rosado by eighth-round TKO.

Lubin vs Fundora, Showtime, 10 pm ET/7 pm PT

The Theater at Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas

Erickson Lubin gives up seven inches in height to fellow southpaw super welterweight Sebastian "The Towering Infero" Fundora. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime Boxing

Erickson Lubin gives up seven inches in height to fellow southpaw super welterweight Sebastian “The Towering Infero” Fundora. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime Boxing

West Coast fans have embraced Sebastian “Towering Inferno” Fundora of Coachella, California (18-0-1, 12 KOs) for his impressive height, a 6-foot-5 super welterweight who weighed in at 152.8 pounds) but have stuck around thanks to his pop in both hands.  Fundora faces a serious challenge in Erickson Lubin of West Palm Beach (24-1, 17 KOs). The winner will become a mandatory challenger to WBC titleholder Jermell Charlo. Both men are highlight motivated to take a big step up and know a loss will significantly set back their career prospects.

Since his knockout loss to Charlo, Lubin has six straight wins, the last two against Jeison Rosario and Terrell Gausha. What he gives up in height (seven inches) he gains in experience. Meanwhile, Fundora had his hands full in his last fight against Sergio Garcia, though he won by wide margins on two cards.  It’s a true 50-50 fight between the southpaws, and it could be the show of the night. Plan accordingly. Prediction: Lubin by decision.

Mayer vs Han, ESPN/ESPN+/ESPN Deportes, 10 pm ET/7 pm PT

The OC Hangar at the Orange County Fair, Costa Mesa, California

Mikaela Mayer (L) and Jennifer Han (R) pose during the weigh in prior to their WBO and IBF junior lightweight championship fight in Costa Mesa, California. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Unified WBO/IBF/Ring Magazine junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer of Colorado Springs (16-0, 5 KOs) makes a third title defense against Jennifer Han of El Paso, Texas. (18-4-1, 1 KO)

Mayer is coming off one of 2021’s best women’s bouts, a barnburner against IBF world champion Maiva Hamadouche of France. Mayer narrowly prevailed. Han recently went 10 rounds against women’s pound for pound talent Katie Taylor in Ireland, which despite suffering a knockdown and lopsided cards was still admirable.

“I have tons of respect for her,” said Mayer. “I know she has the experience and has trained hard, and we didn’t look past her at all in preparing for this fight.” But Mayer admits she would have preferred a unification fight against titleholders Alycia Baumgardner or Hyun Mi Choi. “That was my first choice. They’re not quite ready to step up to that, I guess, so we had to look at another direction. We don’t want any easy fights. We want to continue growing and getting better. Jennifer Han had just come off a strong fight against Katie Taylor, and we thought that would be a good matchup for now.”

Han faced Taylor just months after having her second child and making weight but says he has no regrets about stepping up to the fight even though it wasn’t her best performance. She appreciates another opportunity to prove herself. “This is huge. When I first started boxing, we were working hard just to get put on television. During my championship reign, I never got televised, and it was very frustrating. Women’s boxing has grown a lot. And I’m very excited to finally be on TV to showcase our talent.”

A win puts Mayer and Top Rank in a position to pressure Baumgardner and Matchroom Boxing for an all-American unification fight. Mayer has plenty of skills but needs to add a little spice to the show to get fans enthused about the future. Han is 38 years old without a lot of power. After having faced down Hamadouche who has a fearsome work rate, Mayer has little to fear here. It’s her chance to bear down on Han and pick up right where she left off. Prediction: Mayer by seventh-round TKO.

On the undercard, Australia’s Moloney brothers both get outings, as well as American Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan and US Olympian Virginia Fuchs of Houston in her professional debut at flyweight.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2022 by Falcon Valley Group




Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.