Gennady Golovkin to fight in April as he waits for ‘Canelo


In the wake of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez announcing his May 7 showdown with Amir Khan, Gennady Golovkin has his next opponent lined up as both fighters are still angling toward a September fight.

Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) will defend his WBA (Super), IBF, IBO and WBC interim middleweight world titles against Dominic Wade at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on April 23. The fight will be televised on HBO.

After scoring his 21st consecutive knockout against David Lemieux last October, Golovkin sought a unification bout against either Alvarez (who defeated Miguel Cotto for the WBC title last November) or Billy Joe Saunders (who defeated Andy Lee for the WBO title in December). Neither fight materialized, which led to GGG and Alvarez agreeing to take interim bouts before a proposed megafight in September. While Alvarez selected the more recognizable name in Khan, despite a weight disparity between the two, Golovkin ended up with the lesser-known Wade.

Although Wade is unbeaten (18-0, 12 KOs), his resume leaves much to be desired as his biggest victory to date is a split decision over 42-year-old Sam Soliman. Criticism over his opponent is sure to come but Golovkin’s promoter tells Yahoo Sports that Wade was ordered by the IBF as Golovkin’s mandatory.

“We did reach out to other champions,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “Canelo wanted one fight in between and Billy Joe Saunders wanted to have one or two defenses in the UK before he would consider fighting Golovkin.”

IBF mandatory Tureano Johnson was initially on the radar of Team GGG. However, an injury would put Johnson on the shelf and Golovkin’s was presented with Wade who is ranked No. 3 by the IBF and declared as the mandatory challenger to the 33-year-old’s world title. With the goal of unifying all of the middleweight titles, the fight was one that was easy to make for GGG.

“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.”

There appears to be some concern in the boxing world that Alvarez might be one of those fighters who may try to duck his obligation. As the WBC interim titleholder, GGG is the mandatory to Alvarez’s WBC world title. However, Canelo’s fight against Khan will be at a catchweight of 155 pounds and there has been some tussling over the weight that a Alvarez-GGG fight will take place at. Team Canelo has remained firm that a fight at 160 pounds would not happen even though the 25-year-old holds a world title at the 160-pound weight limit. Team GGG is also not interested in making any concessions on weight.

But Loeffler isn’t concerned that the interim fights will have any bearing on these two squaring off later this year should both win their respective bouts.