By Jeff Aranow: Last Saturday’s fight between IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) and Dominic Wade (18-1, 12 KOs) may not have been a very competitive one while it lasted, but the fight did bring in good ratings on HBO Boxing.
According to ratings for the event, Golovkin-Wade had 1,325,000 viewers on HBO with a peak of 1.388 million viewers. These were the best ratings for regular HBO since former WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto fought Daniel Geale in June of 2015.
That fight brought in an average of 1,589 million viewers. However, Cotto is very well known due to him having fought in the United States for his entire career and having fought the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, and Carlos Quintana.
Golovkin knocked the hapless 25-year-old Wade out in the 2nd round of the fight for his 16th consecutive successful title defense and his 22nd consecutive knockout of his career.
Golovkin is now just four title defenses away from tying Bernard Hopkins’ record for most title defenses for a middleweight. Golovkin appears to be in good shape to break that respect, especially if guys like Saul Canelo Alvarez choose not to fight him anyway soon.
Golovkin, 34, needs better opposition if he wants to keep his ratings improving because he can’t make a career out of fighting guys like Wade if he wants to see his ratings steadily improve. The only way he can continue to see his ratings going up is if he fights bigger names like Canelo.
Getting fighters like Canelo to agree to fight him may prove to be difficult because Canelo doesn’t seem like the type who is responsive to pressure. He fights who he wants and when he wants. Right now, the one fighter that seems to have Canelo’s interest is Manny Pacquiao.
That’s a fight that Canelo and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya would like to put a fight together with for later this year. When Pacquiao’s name was mentioned to Canelo during yesterday’s meeting with the media, Canelo’s eyes got big and he seemed to be very interested.
Canelo said that talk of a fight against Pacquiao will need to wait until after Canelo’s May 7 title defense against Amir Khan. If De La Hoya can put a fight together between Canelo and Pacquiao, then Golovkin will be forgotten about by the red-haired Mexican star. I don’t think Canelo will be too bothered about not being able to fight Golovkin because he’ll get a big payday against Pacquiao and he’ll be able to bypass what could be an embarrassing loss to Golovkin.
In the co-feature bout on the Golovkin-Wade card, WBC flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs. McWilliams Arroyo averaged a respectable 1.001 million viewers with a peak of 1.14 million, according to the Nielsen ratings. Gonzalez, 28, beat Arroyo by a 12 round decision. For Gonzalez, these ratings were an improvement from the 961,000 average that his fight against Edgar Sosa brought in last year.
“We’re very happy with these ratings for Gennady which have continued to see extraordinary growth since his first fight on HBO in September 2012,” said Golovkin’ promoter Tom Loeffler. “As he continues to sell-out arenas in America and garner the top sponsorships in boxing. Selling out arenas in New York City and Los Angeles is very rare for a boxer, but Gennady continues to transcend the sport of boxing as he crosses over to the mainstream.”
Golovkin doesn’t have all the time in the world to get the big fights. He’s 34 now, and he needs to get the bigger names to fight him soon because it’s not likely that he’ll be around in the sport for another 10 to 15 years. Golovkin will be 44 in 10 years, and the odds of him still fighting by that point will be low.
Fighters like Canelo and Daniel Jacobs can wait him out until he either retires or gets so old to where he’s lost his skills. They can then fight him, beat him, and then brag about it like they beat him while he was still in his prime. If Golovkin can’t get the big names to fight him in the middleweight division, he may need to broaden his horizons by moving up to super middleweight to fight a select number of fighters like Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, James DeGale and or Badou Jack.