Gennady Golovkin finally finds an opponent in unbeaten American Dominic Wade for April bout

Following an intense search that saw GGG’s fellow middleweight champions Saul Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders balk, unbeaten Dominic Wade emerges as April 23 opponent

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 February, 2016, 3:24pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 February, 2016, 3:23pm

Found: Gennady Golovkin’s next opponent.

Because we couldn’t get another champion to fight, we chose the mandatory (challenger)
Tom Loeffler, promoter

Following an intense search that saw Golovkin’s fellow middleweight champions Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders balk, unbeaten Dominic Wade (18-0, 12 knockouts) of Maryland emerged on Wednesday as Golovkin’s opponent for an April 23 HBO-televised bout at the Forum in Inglewood.

There’s good reason to avoid Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs), because the 33-year-old World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion from Kazakhstan has won 21 consecutive bouts by knockout.

“Because we couldn’t get another champion to fight, we chose the mandatory (challenger),” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said.

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Wade emerged by virtue of his IBF ranking that came with his June victory over former IBF world champion Sam Soliman. He became the organisation’s top available title challenger when higher-ranked Tureano Johnson suffered a shoulder injury.

“I’m happy to fight again at the Forum in front of my fans and friends,” Golovkin said in a prepared statement. “Dominic Wade is a very hungry and skilled middleweight.”

The card is also expected to include a co-main event featuring flyweight world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs), considered by some boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

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Golovkin extended his knockout streak in October, drawing a sell-out crowd to Madison Square Garden as he added the IBF belt with an eighth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten David Lemieux.

Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, earned the Boxing Writers’ Association of America trainer of the year after his fighter scored a technical knockout in May over Willie Monroe in front of 12,732 at the Forum.

“The knockout is what he’s known for, it’s what Gennady and Abel train for, and it’s why he’s become such a fan favourite,” Loeffler said.

The knockout is what he’s known for, it’s what Gennady and Abel train for, and it’s why he’s become such a fan favourite
Tom Loeffler, promoter

Wade’s presence marks a reunion of sorts between his powerful manager, Al Haymon, and HBO. Haymon and HBO have been split for three years in March after Haymon led an exodus of fighters, including Floyd Mayweather Jnr, toward rival cable network Showtime.

Golovkin was positioned to fight new World Boxing Council champion Alvarez of Mexico this spring, but an agreement was struck to stage the bout later this year.

Alvarez will make his first title defence at Las Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena May 7 versus England’s former 140-pound world champion Amir Khan.