SAN DIEGO, April 22, 2016 – The Forum in Los Angeles has played host to some of basketball’s greatest moments in its long, distinguished history.
Saturday night, the Forum will host the biggest boxing event in Southern California in decades. It could look a lot like a Harlem Globetrotters game: entertaining to be sure, but everyone knows who’s going to win the game.
No one doubts overwhelming favorite Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin will win by stoppage against his opponent. The only question is how he will get there.
Will middleweight champion Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) take his time with mandatory IBF challenger Dominic Wade (18-0, 12 KOs), as he did a year ago in his first Forum appearance against Willie Monroe before putting him away? Or will he blast away and end things early, as he did in two rounds against Marco Antonio Rubio?
Either way, Golovkin is a virtual lock to extend his consecutive knockout streak, currently standing at 21 after stopping Lemieux. Although Golovkin has shied away from flat out predicting a quick knockout against Wade when you ask him, he then slyly smiles as if everyone’s in on the joke, saying to Ringside Seat, “I know my power. I know my style.”
Trainer Abel Sanchez is a bit more direct answering the question we put to them. “I don’t think there’s any pressure on us or at least we don’t put any pressure on us in the gym for the knockout even though the streak is going, the streak will happen by itself if it’s supposed to happen.
“Gennady trains for 12 rounds because we know that the opponent, whoever the opponent that we’re facing is, is just as motivated as we are to be where Gennady is and to stay where Gennady is. So, if we don’t prepare as if it’s going to be a 12 round fight, then we may be surprised. We’ve been fortunate that Gennady has landed the shot that he’s landed and we’ve ended short fights but we definitely prepare for 12 rounds and if it happens to be shorter, great, so be it. It’s a great show for the fans,” concluded Sanchez.
Sanchez, Golovkin, and promoter Tom Loeffler have all given Dominic Wade, Wade’s trainer Jay Stencil and manager Jerry Vines credit and respect for agreeing to the fight when several other opponents balked, mostly notably Billy Joe Saunders of Great Britain. Golovkin says he respects Wade as “a real man” for stepping up.
Wade is relatively unknown and his biggest fight to date was a split decision win over 41-year-old Sam Soliman of Australia last June. Soliman landed 13 more punches per round and beat Wade in nearly every statistical category, but it was a rough dirty fight and Wade was helped by a flash fourth round knockdown. Wade projects confidence and makes “shock the world” types of statements. This is by far the biggest stage he’s ever been on with one of the strongest punchers in boxing who is driven by a killer instinct.
Wade has decent basic boxing skills. He will need to keep his good jab busy to try and keep Golovkin off him long enough to set up an attack. But he needs to get right to it in the first few rounds. The moment Golovkin decides Wade doesn’t have enough power or accuracy to hurt him, he’ll move right in and do damage, just as he did with Daniel Geale.
Wade is a 50 to 1 underdog. No, not a typo. He will be in seriously deep waters as many of his predecessors have been and nothing can prepare him for what he is about to face. Wade has nothing to lose and can gain visibility and respect with a good performance. Good against GGG being defined as someone not stopped in the first half of the fight.
The Forum is on its way to a sellout, with well over 14,000 tickets sold. Plenty of new gear should be waiting for fans on the shelves thanks to Golovkin’s new sponsorship deal with Jordan. HBO is offering free viewing all weekend as a promotion, so all boxing fans can take advantage and enjoy the Big Drama Show for as long as it lasts. The formula has worked for the Globetrotters for nearly 90 years, so why shouldn’t it work for Golovkin?
Both fighters made weight: Golovkin at 159 pounds, Wade at 159.6 pounds.
Follow Ringside Seat on Twitter at @CommDigiNews for updates at ringside from The Forum in Los Angeles Saturday.
HBO Boxing: Golovkin vs. Wade airs at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT and will be available to all cable subscribers.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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