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Golovkin’s promoter: We chose Wade because other champions wouldn’t take fight

Gennady GolovkinBy Jeff Aranow: IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) will be making a less than exciting title defense on April 23 against his IBF mandatory challenger Dominic Wade (18-0, 12 KOs) on HBO Championship Boxing from the Forum in Inglewood, California.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler says the reason they selected Wade was because they couldn’t get any of the world champions at 1160 to take the fight with Golovkin. Wade, 25, was the fall back plan after they struck out in getting the other belt holders at middleweight to face GGG.

Loeffler wanted to set up a unification fight between Golovkin and WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, but he couldn’t get the British fighter to take the fight. With no other options available, Loeffler had to get Golovkin’s IBF ordered mandatory out of the way against Wade.

If Loeffler had been able to get a unification fight for Golovkin, then Wade would have had to wait until that fight was taken care of before he could get the fight.

“Because we couldn’t get another champion to fight, we chose the mandatory,” said Loeffler to the “It’ll be a challenge. Wade’s a young, hungry guy who jumped at it as soon as Tureano Johnson was hurt.”

#3 IBF Wade is the replacement for #1 IBF Tureano Johnson, who suffered a shoulder injury training and couldn’t take the fight with Golovkin. Johnson earned the IBF mandatory spot recently with his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision win over Eamonn O’Kane last October on the Golovkin vs. David Lemieux card at Madison Square Garden in New York.

It’s too bad that Tureano couldn’t take the fight with Golovkin because that would have been a very good fight, and maybe even better than Golovkin vs. Saunders. Tureano can fight, and he’s plenty tough. Tureano is arguably a much better fighter than Wade. There’s really no comparison. Wade struggled to beat 41-year-old Sam Soliman by a controversial 10 round split decision last year.

The co-feature bout on the Golovkin-Wade fight card was announced last Friday with WBC flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs) defending his title against #9 WBC McWilliams Arroyo (16-2, 14 KOs). It’s not a great fight, but the idea is to lure fans to want to watch the fight card with the names “Golovkin” and “Roman Gonzalez.” It almost doesn’t matter who they both fight. The boxing fans are already hooked on both fighters. That’s why the mismatches won’t likely hurt the ratings too much.

It would obviously be better if Golovkin were facing a good fighter like Saunders, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs, Miguel Cotto, Peter Quillin, Chris Eubank Jr., Jermall Charlo, Erislandy Lara or Demetrius Andrade. However, getting those guys to agree to a fight against Golovkin would likely prove to be impossible. Charlo, Lara and Adrade would be doable fights for Golovkin, but I’m not sure that Loeffler wants to start matching Golovkin against junior middleweights at this point in his career.

In the last three years, Golovkin has quickly built up a huge fan base in the United States that is growing and growing with each fight he takes. Golovkin recently stopped Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr. and Martin Murray. Golovkin’s fight against Lemieux sold out complete Madison Square Garden in New York.

“The knockout is what he’s known for, it’s what Gennady and [trainer] Abel [Sanchez] train for, and it’s why he’s become such a fan favorite,” Loeffler said. “He provides excitement. At this point, the fans are expecting a knockout. He can stop anyone with his right or left hand, and he can stop them early or late in the fight … because of his punching power and being so well-conditioned.”

Wade will likely only last as long as Golovkin wants him to last. This is more of a showcase type of title defense than a competitive one. It’s a fight where Golovkin will be able to do pretty much anything he wants to do against Wade before he decides to put him away. Hopefully for the fans sake, Golovkin keeps Wade around for at least six rounds.

In Golovkin’s defense last year against Monroe Jr. in May of 2015, he had Monroe Jr. down twice in the 2nd round and ready to be knocked out. Rather than finish him off, Golovkin appeared to back off and leave Monroe in the fight for another four rounds. It was like he wanted to toy with him longer to give the fans a better show. After the fight, Golovkin revealed that he had strung the fight out longer because he didn’t want to finish Monroe off too quickly.

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