INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Gennady Golovkin defended his middleweight titles in devastating fashion again Saturday night, stopping Dominic Wade in the second round for his 22nd straight knockout victory.
Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) knocked down Wade three times in the short fight, brutalizing the previously undefeated challenger before ending the bout on a right to the chin with 23 seconds left in the second.
A sold-out Forum roared for its adopted champion in his 16th consecutive title defense.
“This is a big present for my fans,” Golovkin said. “I’m here now and I’m here to stay. I’m not going anywhere.”
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez also defended his WBC 112-pound title with a unanimous decision over McWilliams Arroyo.
Golovkin and Gonzalez combined to pack the famous arena south of downtown Los Angeles for the second time in a year, attracting 16,353 savvy boxing fans who understand the sublime brutality of the Kazakh 160-pound champion and the Nicaraguan flyweight.
Wearing blue-and-gold trunks to celebrate the Los Angeles Rams’ NFL return to a future stadium across the street from the Forum, Golovkin opened his bout in his new hometown with the crowd repeatedly chanting “Triple G!”
And Golovkin was relentless from the bell, knocking down Wade (18-1) with a punch to the ear in the final seconds of the opening round. After absorbing a few punches from Wade with negligible impact, Golovkin landed a dynamite combination in the second round, flooring Wade with a left uppercut and a right to the body.
Golovkin finished his woozy opponent with a right hand that left Wade face-down on his knees. Golovkin, who idolizes the same Mexican boxers beloved in Los Angeles, got another enormous cheer when he greeted the fans with “Muchas gracias!”
Golovkin was an enormous favorite to beat Wade, his mandatory challenger for one of his belts. Although Golovkin has dominated the middleweight division, he still covets a superfight with Canelo Alvarez, who holds the WBC version of the 160-pound belt after beating Miguel Cotto at a 155-pound catch weight last year.
Alvarez has said he is willing to fight Golovkin, but Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, appears less interested. When asked if he had a message for Alvarez, Golovkin said: “Give me my belt!”
Gonzalez (45-0) is widely considered the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, and the 112-pound dynamo put on another virtuoso display in his fourth straight title defense.
Yet the Nicaraguan champion’s streak of 10 consecutive stoppages victories was ended by Arroyo (16-3), whose gritty effort on a damaged shoe earned him respect from a crowd supporting Gonzalez.
Nobody had gone the distance with Gonzalez since Juan Francisco Estrada in November 2012. Two judges scored the bout 119-109 for Gonzalez, and a third gave every round to the champion, 120-108. The Associated Press scored it 119-109 for Gonzalez.
“This shows that I can win either by knockout or by going the distance,” Gonzalez said through a translator. “It was a very difficult fight, but McWilliams moves very well, and he knows how to avoid the punches.”