Canelo vs Murata location / venue
Canelo Alvarez, lineal middleweight champion and boxing's biggest star, will face fringe title holder Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) in the latter's native Japan. The fight, which will be broadcast by DAZN, will serve as Canelo's first outside of the U.S. or Mexico and will take place May 23 stateside.
Canelo vs Murata location
And no, the fight won't happen in Tokyo. Saitama City, some 15 - 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo, will host the bout.
For those not familiar with Saitama City, it boasts a population of about 1.3 million so it's not tiny. And although it may seem to be an odd location for such an event, it's becoming a hotbed for combat sports/entertainment in Asia.
About the venue
Alvarez and Murata will battle at Saitama Super Arena which opened in 2000 and has a spectator capacity of 36,500, making it the fourth largest indoor arena in the world.
It is a favorite venue for puroresu (Japanese professional wrestling) and mixed martial arts (MMA), and has hosted many of the biggest fights in MMA and WWE history, and is no stranger to boxing. So, while it may seem like the venue and location are 'off the beaten path,' it's not.
February 7, 2005
The arena hosted WWE Raw for United States cable television network Spike TV. The main event of the Raw hour was Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels, and the main event of the Raw Zone hour featured Triple H against Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.
November 29, 2009
In one of the biggest fights in Japan's history, then WBC Flyweight Champion Daisuke Naito defended his title against Koki Kameda.
The arena hosted UFC 144 on February 26, 2012 and UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann the following year. It was also the site for UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson on September 20, 2014 and UFC Fight Night: Barnett vs. Nelson on September 26, 2015.
And on November 7, 2019, Japanese bantamweight boxer Naoya Inoue defeated Nonito Donaire at the arena to claim the 2018–19 World Boxing Super Series in a Fight of the Year candidate.
More location / venue facts
- Saitama's closest major airports are Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport, both about two hours away.
- Saitama Super Arena is one of two home arenas of the Saitama Broncos basketball team.
- In 2000, Saitama Super Arena hosted two NHL ice hockey games between the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- In 2003, NBA basketball teams Seattle SuperSonics and the Los Angeles Clippers, played two regular season games at Saitama Super Arena
- In 2019, the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors played two preseason games at the arena.
- The 2014 and 2019 World Figure Skating Championships were held at the venue.
- Saitama Super Arena will host basketball competitions at 2020 Summer Olympics hosted by Tokyo.
- Saitama Super Arena TripAdvisor reviews
The most significant fight event to have ever taken place in Japan was, of course, Mike Tyson vs Buster Douglas which landed at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on February 11, 1990. The event is historically significant as the then-undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson lost by knockout to the 42–1 underdog Douglas.