Dominic Wade: The Shadow Contender
By Sean Crose
The common criticism around the boxing campfire is that no one, but no one, wants to fight middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin (34-0), not even for numerous major titles. Indeed, there’s truth to this argument, for men like fellow champion Billy Joe Saunders have seemed less than interested in facing the feared GGG. Even Canelo Alvarez, a warrior of note, wasn’t eager to jump right in with Golovkin immediately after besting Miguel Cotto last year (though, in fairness, it all may have more to do with maximizing earnings than with any true sense of hesitation on the part of both Canelo and Saunders).
One person who isn’t at all slow to face Golovkin, however, is the Kazakh’s next opponent – Dominic Wade. You may have heard of Wade. He’s been kicking around for a bit, appearing on outlets like Showtime’s ShoBox series and ESPN’s sadly passed Friday Night Fights. Chances are, however, that he’s an unfamiliar name to even the most dedicated of fight fans.
Still, this 18-0 shadow contender has legitimately earned the right to fight GGG. Granted, he earned it by beating a battle aged Sam Soliman by split decision…and by virtue of Tureano Johnson getting hurt, but fair is fair. The International Boxing Federation says he’s in line for its middleweight title and so he gets to fight the titleholder, Mr. Golovkin. It may not be the fight everyone wants, but it’s one that fans will still tune in for, thanks to GGGs rising popularity.
With all that in mind, however, what kind of chance does the largely unknown Wade have? Well, he certainly has knockout power. After all, BoxRec has the man scoring with a 67% knockout ratio. He also in unfamiliar to Golovkin, something that Golovkin himself has admitted. That means the rising star won’t have the time to study his foe the way Wade has clearly studied him.
On top of all that, Wade is a confident fighter with a game plan. Rather than being a ball of energy or a slick defensive guru, the man opts to carefully move forward, then fire effectively. He’s also shown signs of fighting dirty. In a fight against Grover Young, for instance, Wade fired a brutal low blow, then a short time later took to mashing his glove into Young’s face.
Such tools can all be effective, of course – yes, even the dirty ones, unfortunately – but will they be effective against the likes of Golovkin? It’s possible they could be, of course, but it’s hard for me to imagine at the moment. Wade tends to keep his left extremely low. That’s not good when you don’t have a great deal of speed – which Wade doesn’t. Add that to the fact that Wade doesn’t appear to move in at angles and it’s easy to picture Golovkin picking his man apart with his brutal and calculated punching.
Still, it’s good to keep Wade’s own punching in mind before totally writing the man off. He may not have too extensive an arsenal – but power punchers don’t really need one. Except, of course, when they do.