Gennady Golovkin to Face Dominic Wade in Next Fight Before Showdown with Canelo Alvarez
Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin will return to the ring against Dominic Wade on April 23 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Golovkin, who is preparing for his highly anticipated title unification about against Saul Alvarez this year, opted to face Wade after considering several options.
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions told Yahoo Sports that their decision to face Wade instead of bigger-named middleweight contenders will be criticized. But Loeffler defended their choice, saying that they had to accept the fight against Wade because the World Boxing Association ordered Golovkin to face the 25-year-old Maryland native.
"We were obligated to face Wade," Loeffler said. "If he hadn't fought Wade, he would have been stripped of the title and GGG is definitely not one to shy away from any mandatory like other fighters who try to duck their obligations."
Golovkin, who owns a perfect 34-0 record with 31 knockout victories, was linked to several possible opponents, including Billy Joe Saunders, who won the World Boxing Organization middleweight title against Andy Lee in December last year. Loeffler said they tried to arrange the bout but Saunders opted to go into a different direction.
"We did reach out to other champions," Loeffler added. "Canelo wanted one fight in between and Billy Joe Saunders wanted to have one or two defenses in the U.K. before he would consider fighting Golovkin."
Golovkin, who is also the reigning International Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organization middleweight champion, also considered facing IBF top contender Tureano Johnson but the plan was shelved after the 31-year-old sustained an injury.
Golovkin has everything to lose in his next fight, as he is expecting a showdown with Alvarez, the reigning World Boxing Council middleweight champion, later this year.
The 33-year-old Kazakh is the mandatory challenger to the WBC middleweight title. But WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman allowed both fighters to face different foes before their mandatory title fight, which will likely happen in September.
Canelo opted to face former world champion Amir Khan on May 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will happen at a catchweight of 155 pounds, raising more questions about the Canelo-Golovkin fight because Golovkin's camp has insisted that they will only face Alvarez at 160.
But despite the possible tussle on the weight issue, Loeffler is still confident that Alvarez will honor his commitment to face Golovkin if both of them win in their respective next fights.
"If the winner of Canelo vs. Khan doesn't fight Gennady, then it is clear that Gennady will go from interim to full WBC champion," Loeffler said. "But we are sure that Canelo is proud to be the WBC middleweight champion so we expect him to defend the title against Gennady, especially with the financial incentives that both fighters are set to gain."