IBF, IBO middleweight champion Gennadiy "GGG" Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) took to social media late Thursday night to announce that his upcoming unification with WBA middleweight kingpin Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) had been postponed.

The two champions were scheduled to collide on December 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. DAZN was going to carry the event.

However, the fight fell into jeopardy earlier this week when Japan reinstated strict border controls in response to the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The planned fight will now take place in the first quarter of 2022.

"I am deeply disappointed that fight in Japan has been postponed but the health and safety of the public must always be the priority. I look forward to returning to the ring against Ryota as soon as possible," Golovkin stated to his followers.

Golovkin has been out of action since December 18 of 2020, when he scored four knockdowns against undefeated mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta, en route to a seventh-round stoppage.

Murata on the other hand has been out of the ring for practically two years.

He made a defense of his WBA title on December 23 of 2019, with a fifth-round TKO of once-beaten Steven Butler.