Gennady Golovkin Wastes More Time Against Dominic Wade

Gennady Golovkin is an absolute animal, as he demonstrated again Saturday night on HBO. The problem is that he’s an aging animal who is wasting our time and his facing opponents like Dominic Wade, who had no chance on paper and even less in reality. Golovkin took him out easily in the 2nd, after three knockdowns.

Wade didn’t show but maybe fractions of seconds of competition, and his soft midsection suggested he wasn’t coming to win in the first place. He went down on a legal punch that landed on the back of his head in the 1st. In the 2nd, a combo put him down and he contemplated not going on, but rose admirably. The final counter right hand was ruthless and whether Wade could’ve gotten up again or chose not to, it was all over by then anyway.

Wade was a borderline top-10 guy, at best. At least last time out, Golovkin faced David Lemieux, one of the top middleweights period. This was a mismatch that we didn’t need, and got in part thanks to the IBF, who ordered it a a mandatory. Praise Jesus for the alphabet belts, which are so great for boxers and the fans, without fail.

Let’s talk about GGG’s choices here. People ask, “Who’s lining up to fight him?” Well, the list is longer than you think. We’ve said it here in this space recently, but: GGG (or his management, anyway) is as much of a prima donna if not more than anyone else about who he’ll fight, when, and under what circumstances.

 Let’s revisit. Golovkin will move down to 154 for Floyd Mayweather, but won’t move down to 155 for middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez. He would’ve moved up to 168 for Carl Froch or Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., but not Andre Ward. He says he wants to stay at 160, which would be his prerogative, unless you count all the exceptions he’ll make to that desire, and he’s not really interested in the likes of Erislandy Lara, who is openly pining for the bout.
You can criticize everyone else in that bargain, too — yeah, I think Canelo should fight at 160 instead of imposing arbitrary figures, for instance.

But the argument for Canelo to make that demand is the same as the argument GGG zealots make for why he’ll make his own rules about who he’ll fight and when. Froch, Chavez and Mayweather were bigger than Ward and Canelo, comparatively. He’ll adjust his risk level when the reward is worth it. GGG-Ward was bigger than any fight GGG could’ve had over the past couple years, but not enough for him to compromise. Fine. That’s his prerogative.

But Canelo can make pay-per-view money fighting Amir Khan, at lesser risk than he can GGG. Why should he adjust his risk level for Golovkin and give up his GGG demands when GGG won’t adjust his own risk level unless it suits him? The hypocrisy and frustration goes both directions. But they are of similar varieties.

Right now, we as fans should clamor for and demand Canelo-GGG. Ideally it happens at 160. But if it doesn’t happen because GGG turns up his nose at 155, Golovkin doesn’t go blameless.

If this seems like the work of a hater, it’s not. Golovkin gives off “special.” He’s exciting, and likable. Seeing him tested is all I want, same as I did for Mayweather back when he was taking on opposition worse than he could’ve.

(INGLEWOOD, Calif.: Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan celebrates a 2nd round TKO of Dominic Wade during his middleweight fight at The Forum on April 23; Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.