Boxing's most dominating divisional champion is back in action tonight as middleweight Gennady "GGG" Golovkin puts his WBA. IBF, IBO and Interim WBC crowns up for grabs at the storied Forum venue in Los Angles. Once again fighting on a Golovkin undercard is WBC flyweight champ Roman Gonzalez.
34 year old Golovkin, 34-0 (31), has torn through his opposition since turning pro in 2006, winning all 34 of his contests, including 21 consecutive wins by stoppage and making 14 WBA title defenses.
Right now, the Kazakhstan born slugger is the most feared boxer on the planet and much attention has been given to a potential future showdown with WBC titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, which could happen if Alvarez defeats Amir Khan next month and Golovkin can win his title defense tonight against mandatory challenger Dominic Wade.
Wade, 18-0 (12), brings little name recognition to the table but did win a split decision against former world champion Sam Soliman last year to become, by default, Golovkin's mandatory challenger as "GGG" KO'd David Lemieux last October to add the IBF belt to his collection.
Does Wade have a chance to derail the Golovkin juggernaut? It's unlikely but, this is Boxing and bigger upsets than this have occurred.
One of the problems for Wade is that although he is the IBF mandatory challenger, he doesn't have a great deal of experience.
The only world class opponent Wade faced, 41 year old Soliman, gave the 26 year old Maryland man real difficulty and Wade's split decision victory is generally considered by many in the media to be controversial.
The other side of the coin, however, is that Soliman is perhaps the most awkward top level opponent in any division and no one has ever looked good against the slippery Aussie.
But, and this an is important point, Soliman was able to hit Wade, despite the American's best efforts to keep his shorter rival at arm's length or completely clinched whenever Soliman got close.
Another opponent able to hit Wade, and also shake him up a bit in the process, was Nick Brinson, who Wade decisioned over 10 rounds in 2014.
The bottom line is that if those opponents could find the chin of Wade, Golovkin will also nail the target and he hits far harder than either Soliman or Brinson.
Wade's defense is basically his offense, putting opponent's on the back foot and keeping them dealing with what he throws rather than throwing punches themselves.
As a result, the lanky Washington DC area man doesn't have great defense, specifically dropping his left while throwing right hands.
Unless Wade has solved the defense issue and can actually box very well while backing up, he's going to have real problems once the bell rings at the Forum tonight.
For Wade to pull off a massive upset, he'll have to use excellent footwork to maintain Golovkin at a distance and prevent the champion from cutting off the ring.
When Golovkin does get within range, Wade must throw first and land, moving off before the champion's deadly broadsides can be unleashed. Wade must do this again and again, for 12 long rounds if he is to have a hope of unseating "GGG".
Wade is definitely a good boxer and didn't get to where he is by being a soft target but his task at hand tonight is a very difficult one and more accomplished combatants have tried to stop the Golovkin express and failed.
It should be an interesting main event.
For the third straight occasion, WBC flyweight king Roman Gonzalez, 44-0 (38), will serve as Golovkin's warm up act as the heavy-handed 28 year old Nicaraguan whirlwind meets challenger McWilliams Arroyo, 16-2 (14).
Gonzalez could perhaps be considered the Golovkin of the lighter weights as the Managua man has a string of 10 consecutive stoppages and over the course of holding three world title, has defended those belts successfully on 13 occasions.
Tonight, "Chocolatito" squares off with Puerto Rico's 29 year old Arroyo, whose only loss since 2010 came in an IBF title challenge against Thailand's Amnat Ruenroeng in which the hometown champion was floored in the sixth and barely edged Arroyo by a razor thin split decision.
Arroyo, a career flyweight, could have a strength advantage over Gonzales, a former minimumweight, but the champion has had no problem halting good flyweights, winning all four of his title bouts in the division inside the distance.
Gonzales is a masterful boxer who can also punch and is in the prime of his storied career, making this a tough uphill climb for Arroyo, who's older brother McJoe is incidentally the IBF super fly champion.