By Jason Pribila: On Saturday evening HBO showcased two of the best fighters in the world in separate bouts from The Forum in Inglewood, CA. Gennedy Golovkin and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez again teamed up to display their talents to a national audience from a sold out arena.
One of the fighters needed less than two rounds to get into his rhythm; the other needed less than two rounds to knock his opponent out. In the end, each showed why they are selling out arenas on both coasts in the USA, each showed why they are at the top of the Pound for Pound lists, and each left us longing to see them matched against someone who will give them a legitimate test.
In the main event of the evening Gennedy Golovkin (35-0, 32 KO) was an overwhelming favorite to not only defeat Dominic Wade (18-1, 12 KO), but make him his twenty-second straight knockout victim. Mission accomplished.
Unlike his last fight against David Lemieux, Wade was not chosen because he had a title, nor was he known as a power puncher to be respected. In boxing terms, Wade is still a “ShoBox” fighter, while “GGG” fights and opponents should be at a PPV level.
Instead, HBO paid for a mismatch, and a mismatch is what they presented to their cable subscribers.
In recent bouts, Golovkin has been accused of allowing some foes to hang around rather than taking them out when he had them hurt. The thought being that if Golovkin looked vulnerable, he may be able to entice bigger names to fight him.
On this evening, Golovkin did not seem to be In the mood to play. He almost seemed insulted to be in the ring with Wade, and therefore, he walked through him. From the opening bell, Golovkin seemed to hurt Wade everytime he touched him. Thudding hooks to the body eventually set up the lethal overhand right.
The first knockdown came via right hand that landed to the back of Wade’s head. Wade was able to beat the count as the round had ended.
When round two began, Wade left his stool for the last time as an undefeated fighter. Midway through the round, Wade was again on the canvas courtesy of a Triple-G right hand. He rose as a beaten fighter, but he chose to continue. He tried to catch Golovkin on his way in, but he was only momentarily able to avoid the inevitable. A right hand on the chin would be the final blow that Golovkin would throw on this evening. The count reached ten, and the fight was waved off at 2:37 of the second round.
Golovkin landed just under half of his power punches. CompuBox gave him credit for 30 of 62 (48%).
Much like watching the WWF on Saturday mornings in the early 80’s, the highlight was not the match, but the interview after. That evening’s opponent was not the story, but the crowd wanted to hear who was going to be next.
“Of course I need a big name or big fight,” Golovkin said. “I’m ready to fight anybody.”
The Southern California crowd that consisted of many Mexican fight fans erupted each time Canelo Alvarez’s name was mentioned or implied.
As the interview ended, Golovkin was asked to comment on the May 7 fight between Canelo and Amir Khan.
“It doesn’t matter who wins,” Golovkin confessed.
“Just give me my belt. I need my belt”
In the televised opener, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez displayed the blueprint that he has followed to become the consensus top pound for pound fighter in the world.
Gonzalez took four minutes to study what Arroyo had to offer, and then he began to unleash the systematic breakdown of his foe. Gonzalez uses non-stop pressure while throwing punches at a variety of angles to smother and eventually overwhelm his opponent. The more Arroyo resisted, the more punishment he took.
Gonzalez does not have the blazing hand and foot speed that Manny Pacquiao exhibited when he burst onto the scene. Gonzalez is deceptively fast, and his footwork always has him in position to be on the offensive.
Arroyo fought as well as he possibly could. He landed several left hooks to the head and body in the first two rounds. When Gonzalez started landing combinations in round three, Arroyo landed a short left hook that would have hurt or possibly dropped most foes in this division. Gonzalez walked right through the punch without flinching.
What separates Chocolatito from other fighters is that when he gets into his rhythm he is able to sustain that pace throughout the fight. Round after round, Arroyo would return to his corner with the sense that he weathered a storm, only to leave his stool to step into another downpour.
By the midway point of the fight Gonzalez has his opponent fighting while moving backwards, and he has already done enough damage to the body that he has effectively disarmed everything from his foe’s arsenal other than arm punches.
Arroyo entered the ring for the first time in over a year. Many felt that the rust would be a disadvantage, but Arroyo’s performance proved that he was sincere when he said that he remained in the gym and remained in shape.
Arroyo was able to overcome ring rust, and for eight rounds he fought with a faulty right boxing shoe. Midway thru round four, Arroyo stepped backward and the soul of his shoe became detached and separated from the shoe. The action did not stop for the faulty equipment, and the faulty equipment did not stop Arroyo from fighting on.
As each round passed, the story remained the same. An elite fighter was getting the better of a very good fighter. However, unlike a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, no one is anxious to leave their seats for the exits. The reason is because Gonzalez never lets the score dictate his goal of stopping his opponent within the distance. On this evening, his foe was the first in his last eleven bouts to make it to the final round.
While the official scores of (119-109, 119-109, and 120-108) accurately showed that Gonzalez won at least 11 rounds, they failed to tell the story of the grit and competitiveness displayed by Arroyo.
According to the final CompuBox stats, Gonzalez landed 360 of his 1132 total punches (32%), while Arroyo landed 193 of his 711 (27%). Power punches also favored Gonzalez, who landed 311 of 737 (42%), while Arroyo landed 148 of 471 (31%).
With the victory Gonzalez improved to (45-0, 38KO) while Arroyo fell to (16-3, 14 KO).
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on twitter.com @PribsBoxing.