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Alvarez vs Murata official: Could Canelo suffer the same fate as Mike Tyson in Japan?

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Joseph Herron Updated
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According to an article written for "Yahoo!-Japan", Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) vs. Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) is a "done deal" for May 24th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City, Japan.

Because the larger and more popular Tokyo Dome was unavailable for the requested date, the highly anticipated contest for the Super WBA Middleweight crown was moved to the 37K seat indoor arena, just 19 miles north of Tokyo, Japan.

The fight will indeed take place on Sunday, May 24th in Japan, but the event will air live on DAZN USA during a regularly scheduled "primetime" slot on May 23rd in the states. Because Japan is a whopping 14 time zones ahead of New York City, USA, the fight will actually take place at noon in Saitama City.

Despite wanting to compete during Cinco de Mayo weekend, on Saturday, May 2nd specifically, Golden Boy and Team Canelo felt it was best to move the date, in the case of a potential Mayweather come back in Las Vegas, Nevada at the same desired time.

Could the move to the eastern hemisphere prove to be catastrophic for the pound for pound fighter?

February 11th, 2020 will mark the 30 year anniversary of the infamous meeting between Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas, which took place in front of 55K fans at the renowned Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. In what is regarded to be one of the biggest upsets in sports history, the 42 to 1 underdog from Columbus, Ohio, dethroned the "baddest man on the planet", brutally stopping the undefeated unified champ in the 9th round.

Could Team Canelo be faced with a similar situation in May on the 30 year anniversary?

While it's highly unlikely that the popular Japanese puncher will be cast as a 42 to 1 betting underdog when initial betting lines are made, most would view a victory for the 34-year-old fighter to be an absolute stunner. Despite being a former Olympic gold medalist and WBA "Regular" Middleweight titleholder, a win over Canelo would at least rival that of Andy Ruiz Jr's upset victory over current heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua in June of 2019.

Most critics and boxing pundits view the style match-up to be "tailor-made" for Saul Alvarez.

Although Murata carries a virtual sledgehammer in his right glove, the 6-foot fighter is considerably slower than the highly regarded pound for pound fighter but is expected to put forth a spirited effort. Murata likes to come forward and fight aggressively. The style match-up would be a welcomed change for fans of the Mexican fighter, who have witnessed tactical performances from Canelo against Danny Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev in consecutive performances.

Because Canelo is a sharp-shooting counter-puncher with lightning-fast reflexes, the prospect of an upset is very low. But Murata should be a game fighter on May 24th, which should make for a very fan-friendly affair.

The staged fight in "the land of the rising sun" should spark excellent numbers for DAZN, who will gain huge subscriber numbers throughout the eastern hemisphere while maintaining strong numbers for Canelo in North America because of the primetime slot.

While the strategy to move from the Cinco de Mayo weekend date will be undoubtedly be questioned by many critics, the date switch is a safe bet that should guarantee a large viewing audience worldwide.

Expect an official announcement from Team Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions sometime after the SuperBowl.

 
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