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Gonzalez decisions Arroyo, Golovkin destroys Wade

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By Michael Montero – An announced crowd of 16,353 packed the Forum in Inglewood, California to watch the one-two punch combination of the “Little Drama Show” and the “Big Drama Show” Saturday night. In the co-feature, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez defended his flyweight title against Puerto Rican challenger McWilliams Arroyo and in the main event, unified middleweight titlist Gennady “GGG” Golovkin squared off against mandatory challenger Dominic Wade. HBO Championship Boxing aired the bouts lived during a free preview weekend. Undoubtedly the network sold a few subscriptions after a truly electric atmosphere bled through the screen to viewers throughout the land. It felt as though the roof may blow off the Forum as the fans prepared for the TV opener.

The raucous crowd welcomed Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez as he entered the ring, following Arroyo, who fought off boos from the partisan fans. By the end of the night, he’d have the respect of everyone in attendance.

Arroyo started well in the early rounds, utilizing his left hand early and often, throwing hooks and uppercuts off the jab. The two fighters circled around each other in the center of the ring and there was very little clinching. It was competitive early on, but with each passing round the class of Gonzalez became more evident. The hero of Nicaragua had the better right hand and the more powerful punches, which seemed to carry him through the majority of the exchanges. He began working the body, slowing Arroyo down. The Puerto Rican hung tough however, and made it clear that he had not come to lose as just another “opponent”.

Gonzalez did everything well – working upstairs, downstairs, left hand, right hand – all while applying constant pressure on the very game challenger. Arroyo was huffing and puffing in the late rounds, and there were several moments where it looked as if he was almost done. Yet every time Chocolatito went for the kill, Arroyo responded, proving he is truly a quality fighter and a top flyweight. The fight went to the final bell, with a visibly roughed up McWilliams Arroyo embracing Roman Gonzalez, acknowledging his greatness. The scoring was a formality, as the judges scored it 120-108 and 119-109 twice for Gonzalez, who keeps his perfect record intact and improves to 45-0 (38KO).

The skills, heart and respect shown between the two combatants in the flyweight title belt had the crowd at the Forum psyched for the main event. Now it was time for Dominic Wade to enter the ring. He chose the Prince classic“1999” as his ring walk music, in tribute to the artist who had passed away just days earlier. Next up was Golovkin, whose famed ring walk has become part of the “GGG” legend among boxing fans in recent years. Gennady, led by trainer Abel Sanchez, circled around the lower bowl of the venue as The White Stipes’ “Seven Nation Army” blared through the speakers.

The crowd ate it up.

As Golovkin entered the ring, the noise in the arena was deafening. Referee Jack Reiss gave the fighters their final instructions and the opening round was underway. Undefeated challenger Wade started well in the beginning of the first round, flashing a fast jab that briefly held his opponent off. However there was little power behind the jab, as the 26 year old stayed on the back foot, not willing to step into his punches. Once Golovkin felt out Wade for a couple minutes, he realized there was little danger in front of him and he began stalking forward. Golovkin clipped Wade with a clubbing shot at the end of the round that dropped him. Wade beat the count, but his body language was instantly different.

The second round was all Golovkin as the best middleweight in boxing stalked forward, taunting and motioning to his opponent to hit him. Wade let a few punches fly, but the champ kept his chin tucked, absorbed the punishment, grinned, and fired back.

Psychologically, the fight was already over.

About halfway through the round, Golovkin landed with a combination that dropped Wade, sending the crowd into frenzy. Once again he made it to his feet, but was on unsteady legs. GGG pounced on him, landing with a hard right hand on the side of the chin, sending Wade crumbling to the canvas once again. Jack Reiss reached a count of ten and it was over, Golovkin improving to 35-0 (32KO).

Moments after another dominant KO win, Golovkin called out the entire middleweight division, particularly Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The Mexican superstar faces England’s Amir Khan next month, defending his linear middleweight championship at a catchweight of 155 pounds. When asked about Canelo Golovkin simply said “give me my belt”, which drove the fans crazy.

Questions, comments, hate mail – you know what to do. Twitter/Youtube/Facebook / Instagram: @MonteroOnBoxing

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