Gennady Golovkin vs. Ryoto Murata, UFC 273

  • With a knockout on Saturday, Gennadiy Golovkin could show that he is ready for a trilogy with Canelo Alvarez.
  • Alexander Volkanovski headlines multiple interesting fights on the UFC 273 card.
  • Ryan Garcia returns to the ring as a -3000 favorite against Emmanuel Tagoe.

Distracting and nonsensical narratives surround Gennady Golovkin’s middleweight title unification Saturday morning in Japan against his native son Ryoto Murata.

Yes, Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) turned 40 on Friday. And yes, he seemed uninterested in the three wins he achieved after that heartbreaking majority decision loss to his bitter rival Canelo Alvarez in September 2018.

But now, Golovkin and Alvarez have a signed deal for a long-awaited Golovkin trilogy in September. There is a stipulation: Golovkin must first beat Murata.

So as he ventures across the Pacific Ocean for a unification broadcast on DAZN at 5:10 am ET against Murata (16-2, 13 KOs), that burning desire for revenge must be raging.

PLUS:Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy fight signed for September

Knocking out Murata would show that Golovkin, who once crushed 23 enemies in a row, is up for Alvarez at 168 pounds. He would also fuel an avalanche of wealth beyond what is already expected.

The other two options take all the air out of the trilogy.

He loses, and the Alvarez fight fizzles out. Fighting Murata (as he did in a narrow October 2019 decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko) and fight fan intrigue and investment will likely level off.

Therefore, Golovkin best maximizes the revenue from the fight by finishing Murata in a standout knockout.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez, left, shakes hands with boxer Dmitry Bivol as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on, center, during a weigh-in prior to their boxing match Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in San Diego.  Alvarez, from Mexico, is scheduled to fight Bivol, from Russia, in Las Vegas on May 7.  (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Taking that extra motivation into account, Tipico Sportsbook odds for Golovkin-Murata have “GGG” as the -500 favorite to win, with Murata at +330.

At other stores, however, the odds are reduced to -135 when betting on Golovkin to win by KO or TKO. And if you’re feeling especially daring, there’s a +450 reward if you stop Murata in rounds 4-6 or 7-9, and a +650 reward if you knock out the local fighter in rounds 1-3 or 10-12.

Tipico places the over/under of the fight at 9.5 rounds.

The best bet: Golovkin by knockout/TKO -135.

Golovkin headlines a busy weekend of fights that includes two title fights on the UFC 273 pay-per-view card in Jacksonville, Florida. Undefeated lightweight Ryan Garcia will return from a mental health break, and there is a 154-pound title eliminator between undefeated Sebastian Fundora and former title challenger Erickson Lubin.

Let’s take a look at some of the other best bets this weekend.

UFC 273

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida.

ESPN+ Pay Per View

Dominant featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, coming off two wins against former titlist Max Holloway, is a hefty -800 in his title defense against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.

And interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan is -475 against champion Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling, 32, of Uniondale, New York, won the belt when Yan delivered an intentional illegal knee in the fourth round of their March 2021 fight, with Sterling citing neck problems from the surgery, postponing the rematch until now. .

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