By Steve Kim
With Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata capturing a version of the WBA middleweight title this past Sunday in Japan by stopping Hassan N'Dam in seven rounds in their rematch, promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank believes he is poised to have a banner 2018 campaign.
The veteran promoter told BoxingScene.com on Monday morning as he got back to the States - "My grand plan with Murata is you need another fight in Tokyo, it's going to be absolutely huge... huge! So now he fights in Japan, then summer in the States and then for the third fight of the year, we'll figure that out."
Arum envisions Murata (13-1, 10 KO's) fighting around February or March of next year, and then June or July, followed by a fall fight.
The two biggest names at the weight - are Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin.
Golovkin holds the WBA's 'super' version of the middleweight strap and at some point the sanctioning body will order him and Murata to face each other. All of that depends on whether or not Golovkin will win his next fight - as there are ongoing discussions to have a rematch with Canelo in May of next year. The two fighters went to a controversial draw last month.
Following his win over N'Dam, Murata expressed his desire to get in the ring with Golovkin.
"Obviously, a lot will depend on circumstances," Arum explained."If Canelo doesn't want to fight Triple G, the amount of money on that fight in Japan would be enormous, the Toyko Dome. I mean that would be unimaginable. And if Golovkin and Canelo fight and Golovkin wins... hey, that's a fight that can be done.
"So I think he's going to fight some top guys. But obviously he would like to fight Golovkin."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.