By Jim Dower: IBF/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) made on Friday for his title defense tomorrow on Saturday against his IBF mandatory challenger Dominic Wade (18-0, 12 KOs) on HBO Boxing from the Forum in Inglewood, California. A thin-looking Golovkin weighed in at 159lbs, which was one under the 160lb limit.
Golovkin’s opponent Wade weighed in at 159.6. The two fighters then had an uneventful face off after they weighed in. There wasn’t any trash talking, which has been the norm for the two fighters in their previous meetings.
Golovkin is a big favorite in this fight. He’s seen as a 50:1 favorite, and that’s mostly due to how impressive he’s been looking recently Wade has looked good as well, but against far inferior opposition. Wade has only one notable opponent on his resume in Sam Soliman, and that was a very close fight between them last year. Wade won a 10 round split decision but it definitely wasn’t his finest hour.
Golovkin, 34, has the better skills and far superior punching power compared to Wade. That doesn’t mean Wade doesn’t have a chance of winning the fight. Golovkin puts a lot of pressure on himself to create “drama shows” by going for knockouts in every fight.
When a fighter goes for knockouts, they put themselves in vulnerable positions where they could get knocked out themselves. Sooner or later, Golovkin’s style of fighting will lead to him getting knocked out instead of his opponent. Whether that’ll happen on Saturday night remains to be seen. Wade can punch, but he’s still very green and he’s not nearly as technical as he needs to be for him to have a good chance to KO Golovkin.
Winning by knockout is perhaps Wade’s best chance of winning on Saturday night. He’s not likely to out-box a fighter as good as Golovkin for 12 rounds. That just does not seem probable.
If Wade can catch Golovkin with something big while he’s coming in looking to land one of his hard power shots, then we could see an upset. Wade needs to be sneaky so that he can hit Golovkin with a hard shot when he’s not expecting it. I Wade starts out throwing hard leather from the 1st round then Golovkin will adapt to what he’s doing and soften hi up with his powerful jab.
In the co-feature weights, WBC flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs) weighed in at 111.4lbs. His opponent McWilliams Arroyo (16-2, 14 KOs) weighed in at 111.6lbs. This could be the last time that the 28-year-old Gonzalez fights on one of Golovkin’s undercards, as he’s said that he wants to start headlining his own fight cards now on HBO.
Whether HBO will give Gonzalez to be a headliner is unclear. They’ll need to decide whether they have a date available to him, and whether he would be able to bring in the ratings.
Gonzalez might need to go the PPV route if he can’t get a date for one of his fights on regular HBO, and it’s not likely that Gonzalez would be able to bring in a lot of PPV buys at this point in his career.