INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin was the overwhelming favorite against virtual unknown mandatory challenger Dominic Wade, and Golovkin nullified any chance of an upset, overpowering his opponent in an absolutely devastating performance.
Golovkin, 34, knocked down Wade three times in a crushing, second-round knockout victory before a raucous, pro-GGG, sellout crowd of 16,353 on Saturday night at The Forum. And then GGG called once again for the fight the world wants to see: a showdown with middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez.
"I feel great. I'm here now, and I'm here to stay. I'm not going anywhere. Give me my belt, give me my belt! Let's fight," said Golovkin, directing his comments toward Alvarez.
Alvarez had said ahead of the fight that he planned to watch it on television from his training camp in San Diego, where he is preparing to make his first title defense against Amir Khan on May 7 (HBO PPV) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Golovkin, who has not heard the final bell since an eight-round decision win in June 2008, stormed to his 22nd consecutive knockout and retained his 160-pound world title for the 16th time as he continued to close in on the great Bernard Hopkins' division record of 20 consecutive defenses.
Golovkin also raised his knockout percentage to .914, the highest in middleweight title history.
Wade's status as a mandatory challenger was a farce to most. He had never faced anybody of note, much less beaten anyone who mattered, and he was totally outclassed. He figures to slip back into obscurity after getting a career-high payday of $500,000 to serve as a punching bag for two rounds.
"His power is real," Wade said. "It was more than I even expected. I was trying to get comfortable in there. Once he hits you, it makes it very difficult to get comfortable. I could have done one or two things a little differently in there, but he's a great champion, and he has everything you need to be a champion."
Moments into the fight, the crowd began to chant "Triple G! Triple G!" as Golovkin dug punches to Wade's body and went upstairs with right hands. Just before the end of the round, Golovkin landed another powerful overhand right to the top of Wade's head that dropped him to the seat of his pants.
Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs), who made $2 million for less than six minutes of work, went right at Wade at the start of the second round and cracked him with another buckling right hand, and it was clear the end was near.
He then landed another right hand that sent Wade (18-1, 12 KOs), 25, of Largo, Maryland, to all fours. Wade barely beat the count, and it looked almost as though referee Jack Reiss had to convince him to continue. Moments later, Golovkin plowed another right hand into Wade's head, and he went down to his rear end, rolled over onto all fours and was counted out by Reiss at 2 minutes, 37 seconds.
Golovkin landed 54 of 133 punches (41 percent), according to CompuBox punch statistics, and virtually all of them were heavy-duty blows. Wade landed 22 of 75 punches (29 percent), but never landed anything of consequence, even when Golovkin dropped his hands in the first round as if to invite Wade to him, similar to what he did in a sixth-round knockout of Willie Monroe last year, also at The Forum.
"It's not special, I feel after first round it's very close fight. It's my play, it's my game," Golovkin said of dropping his hands. "Of course, everybody come to just watch my fight."
Golovkin, a Kazakhstan native who now lives minutes away from The Forum in Santa Monica, has toyed with the middleweight division and been unable to get the top fighters in the division to fight him, although David Lemieux put his version of the title up in October and paid the price with a one-sided, eighth-round knockout loss.
But titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, who was offered a career-high seven-figure purse to face Golovkin before Wade, turned it down. And Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs), the 25-year-old Mexican star, has also not been in any rush to face him.
Golovkin would have preferred to face Alvarez in perhaps the biggest fight boxing has to offer. By virtue of the interim belt he also holds, Golovkin is Alvarez's mandatory challenger, but when the Alvarez side all but begged to put the fight off until the fall, both agreed to take interim bouts.
Golovkin took care of his business against Wade. Alvarez faces Khan next month. But the more Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya talk about the potential fight with Golovkin, the more they make it sound as if they have no intention of doing it in September, which based on the deal the two camps made with the WBC, is when it's supposed to take place. De La Hoya has said the fight needs to "marinate."
If Alvarez defeats Khan, as most expect, and does not face Golovkin next, he is supposed to be stripped.
Golovkin is tired of waiting for a big fight, and it's hard to blame him.
"Of course, I need big name or big fight," he said. "Today [is] not easy work, just present for my fans."
He also wants to give them the present of the mega fight with Alvarez, although he just wants the belt he thinks Alvarez is holding hostage.
"It doesn't matter who wins," he said of the Alvarez-Khan fight. "Just give me my belt. I need my belt. I'm ready, guys."
The world is ready.