Gennadiy Golovkin will end nearly 16 months of inactivity when he takes on Ryota Murata in a world title unification bout in Japan this weekend.
With his status as one of the all-time great middleweights already assured, Golovkin believes the wisdom he has accumulated during his time in the sport is just as important as his powerful punches, supreme stamina and granite chin.
Saturday’s contest was due to take place on December 29 to be suspended due to coronavirus restrictions – but the Kazakh, who turned 40 on Friday, is unimpressed with the delay.
“There are pros and cons that come with age,” Golovkin said. “I see all the changes as positive. I’m getting smarter, gaining experience and age gives me an extra edge.
“Time flies and the older you get the faster it goes. I continue to stick to my traditional training approach and when we get in the ring we will see the results.
“I wouldn’t highlight any particular goals that I’m still trying to achieve. I’ve achieved a lot and learned a lot in my career. I feel very comfortable in my current position.
“I’ve been in boxing almost my whole life. I feel in great shape and if there’s demand, if there’s good offers, you’ll continue to see me in the ring.”
Golovkin’s priority is to dethrone Murata as WBA champion, with ring walks scheduled around midday UK time.
Murata won gold in London in 2012 and, while the Japanese was beaten twice in his 18-fight professional career, he avenged losses on points to Hassan N’Dam and Rob Brant with victories by stop.
Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOs) is therefore not underestimating an opponent four years his junior who has won 13 of his 16 victories from a distance.
“It will be a first class fight and of course it is the fight that deserves the attention of the fans, to say the least,” added Golovkin.
“Both fighters are power punchers, both fighters are dangerous and I would say it’s completely unpredictable how it might play out.”
Alvarez trilogy fight later this year?
A third fight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who is the only man to defeat Golovkin in his 43-fight pro career, was mooted later this year and remains a tantalizing prospect.
Many felt Golovkin moved ahead of a September 2017 meeting only for a contentious draw to be called before 12 months later Alvarez had his arm raised, while the Mexican recently called their rivalry “personal”.
Golovkin questioned the outburst, wondering why their trilogy hadn’t happened sooner if Alvarez, who will face WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol next month, felt that way.
“I just like getting in the ring – against who, that’s secondary to me,” Golovkin said.
“The comment that he’s taking it personally, if he has personal ambitions, he should have been looking for this fight to happen a lot sooner, doesn’t go away, doesn’t go in different directions.
“Now, to say it’s personal, I would say that sordid talk is out of place.”