Don’t Sleep On D Wade


One man’s misfortune is another man’s gold. It was rumored that Tureano Johnson was likely the next opponent for unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin; however, due to a shoulder injury Johnson had to pull himself out of the conversation. One thing’s for sure, you better have two good wings when you’re in against a Big Drama Show.

The IBF was forced to move south in their rankings to find an opponent for Golovkin (34-0 31 KO) after Johnson’s injury. Enter Maryland’s Dominic Wade (18-0 12 KO), an undefeated fighter and  current mandatory IBF challenger. Golovkin and Wade will knuckleup tonight at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

But who is Dominic Wade? To hear most of the clamor on social media, Wade is simply another sacrificial lamb for GGG in route to his mega bout with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

In fact, why would Wade even show up? He’ll be destroyed they say, he barely beat forty year old Sam Soliman in his last fight they say. Blah, blah, blah.

Fact is, Wade loves to fight, is a supremely talented straight ahead fighter with speed and is said to possess some underrated pop. GGG would be wise not to sleep on Wade.

But to understand how Wade got here, you have to know where he’s been.

At the age of nine, Wade was redirected from brawling in the streets to fighting in the ring. In his amatuer career, Wade amassed a record of 167-10 and won the Silver Gloves five times.  At the time of his fifth Silver Gloves win, Wade tied Oscar De La Hoya for most wins ever at the tournament since being surpassed by two fighters. In addition to the Silver, Wade also won a Golden Gloves title.

In the 2008 Olympic Trials, Wade had Shawn Porter down on the canvas, was leading on the scorecards, but lost by DQ. Wade had notable wins over Edwin Rodriguez and Fernando Guerrero and fought closely with Danny Jacobs but lost by decision. 

Wade turned pro in 2009 at the age of seventeen under the tutelage of Barry Hunter. Regarding the Golovkin fight, his ex-trainer told  “It is definitely a fight that Dominic can win, but he has to be disciplined….what people don’t realize is that Dominic can crack also, extremely powerful and he can fight inside. If he can take GGG’s crack and take him into deeper waters, than he could shock the world. But he will have to be more disciplined than he has been in his entire career in order to pull it off”

Wade had some promotional differences early in his career which would explain why he only has eighteen fights since turning pro in 2009. His career started to move after signing with Al Haymon in 2013.

In review of the footage from his past fights, Wade exhibits speed, works the body, jabs extremely well, is a combination puncher and a busy fighter. Interesting to note is that Wade possesses vast similarities to Lamont Peterson, not surprising since Peterson also comes from the Hunter School Of Hard Knocks.

To say that this is a colossal leap for Wade in terms of quality of opponent would be, for lack of a better term, a colossal understatement. The most notable names on Wade’s resume are the aforementioned Soliman and Nick Brinson. 

Wade told the Los Angeles Times “They making it seem like he’s Superman. I don’t really think that much. I see flaws in his game. I think he’s just basic up and down. But the hype is scaring [people]. I don’t think he’s quick. All I think he has is his strength. Other than that he’s basic and it isn’t a style that I haven’t seen.”

To understand exactly what flaws Wade is hoping to exploit, we will have to wait and see. If Wade can keep an active jab in Golovkin’s face and make him re-set over and over, things could get interesting. Wade can use his speed and possibly catch Golovkin on the way in and we’ll find out early if Wade’s power will make a difference. No surprises here that the key for Wade will have to be his boxing and movement with a few sneaky power shots mixed in.

Wade typically uses a high guard which should provide all sorts of opportunities for GGG’s body work. That said, Wade will know it is coming and if he can use his opponent’s advantages as his own, he may be able to counter the champion with a blistering shot and change the course of the fight. 

Those are a lot of big “ifs” but why not Wade and why not now?

It is said that Wade has always had the skillset to be great but his sometimes lack of mental focus and commitment have been his Achilles heel. In viewing interviews with Paulie Malignaggi, Emanuel Taylor, and Fernando Guerrero regarding this bout, the consensus seems to be that Wade has all the talent in the world and can pull the upset if he stays disciplined and active. 

Urban legend has it that Wade, as a young kid, gave tough as nails William Joppy a beatdown in the gym……at a time when Joppy was at the height of his career.  There is some mysteriousness to Mr. Wade. Is this his time?

GGG’s camp states that they tried to make the unification bout for Canelo Alvarez’ WBC strap but Golden Boy asked for one voluntary defense. Couple this with a failed attempt to put together a unification with Billy Joe Saunders for Saunders’ WBO belt and the Johnson injury and it is now Wade’s journey. By GGG beating David Lemieux and the other fights falling through, he had to face the IBF mandatory or relinquish the belt. Again, all of the stars seem to have aligned for Wade to be right here, right now.

Golovkin’s recent focus seems to have been to have a war of words with many fighters over the past few weeks, none of them named Wade.

As Wade also told the Los Angeles Times, “I don’t think he’s Superman, he’s human just like me, eats the same things I do. So I’m going to take this shot..This is my opportunity to shock the world and that’s what I’m going to do”

Wade is street, Golovkin would be wise not to sleep (on Wade). 

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