GGG and Chocolatito Return to the Forum April 23rd
By Michael Montero – On an unseasonably hot Tuesday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, the boxing media gathered for the kickoff presser announcing Gennady Golovkin’s upcoming fight against Dominic Wade. The middleweight championship bout headlines an HBO Championship Boxing broadcast on April 23rd, with pound for pound kingpin Roman Gonzalez defending his flyweight title against McWilliams Arroyo in the co-feature. The one-two combo of the “Big Drama Show” and the “Little Drama Show” return to The Forum in Inglewood almost a year since they debuted together last May.
Due to nasty weather conditions in the Washington DC area, Dominic Wade (of nearby Largo, Maryland) was unable to fly to Los Angeles and make the press conference. It was a bit of a letdown for the west coast media who made it out to the event, but Wade’s team was there to speak on his behalf. Even though the media reaction wasn’t quite as lively as the Golovkin-Lemieux presser last fall, the fan reaction to Golovkin-Wade has been strong. According to K2 Promotions’ Tom Loeffler, 6,000 tickets have already been sold. Things appear to be on schedule for a sellout, but what exactly can the 16,000 fans in attendance expect April 23rd?
Wade (18-0, 12KO) is a bit of an unknown to many boxing fans, but he had an accomplished amateur career before turning pro in 2009 and worked his way into the #2 IBF rating with a win over veteran Sam Soliman last summer. Bahamian Tureano Johnson was the IBF mandatory, but had to withdrawal due to an injury. Thus, Wade was propelled into the top spot and with K2 Promotions unable to secure unification bouts with Danny Jacobs or Billie Joe Saunders, he gets his crack at the middleweight champion. No doubt he figures to be a big underdog April 23rd inside The Forum, but Wade will bring height, reach and age advantages into the ring with him. Golovkin (34-0, 31KO) will look to make it twenty-two straight knockouts as he fulfills his mandatory obligation.
Most expect Nicaragua’s Roman Gonzalez to face a bigger test when he goes up against former Puerto Rican Olympian McWilliams Arroyo. In 2014 Arroyo travelled to Thailand to face Amnat Ruenroeng for his IBF flyweight title. After dropping Ruenroeng in the sixth, the fight went the distance and Arroyo lost via split decision. Many in the press felt the Puerto Rican deserved the decision and should be unifying titles with “Chocolatito” in April. For Gonzalez, this fight will mark his return to The Forum, where he put the boxing world on notice with his two round destruction of Edgar Sosa last May. The performance delighted fight fans that were put to sleep a couple weeks earlier with Mayweather-Pacquiao. Now considered the top pound for pound fighter in the sport, Gonzalez looks to pick up where he left off almost a year ago.
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