The Inglewood Forum hosts HBO Boxing tonight (Saturday, April 23rd) and the card features two of the world’s best pound for pound fighters in Middleweight Gennady Golovkin and Flyweight Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Golovkin (34-0) is defending his slew of Middleweight belts against undefeated Dominic Wade (18-0), while Gonzalez (44-0) faces off against McWilliams Arroyo (16-2) with his WBC Flyweight belt on the line. Wade and Arroyo are there to provide the oppostion, however the two massive favorites are the defending champions. HBO has invested a lot in the pair of Golovkin and Gonzalez, and the two have been appearing together on HBO fights for their past several outings. Golovkin made his debut as a pay-per-view attraction this past October when he faced Canada’s David Lemieux, with Gonzalez facing Brian Viloria on the same card. That event resulted in roughly 250,000 pay-per-view sales, a number HBO executives were not impressed by. Despite that, they have not pulled the plug on the pair, and this appearance on free TV is designed to give the two a chance to showcase their skills before moving them back onto pay-per-view. The Middleweight 12-rounder sees Dominic Wade enter the fight a massive +5500 underdog, as Golokvkin is paying out at -13500. The fact is that Golovkin, with his Olympic pedigree and his dominance over the Middleweight division the last few years, is light years ahead of Wade in terms of technique and development. Wade is 26 years old and he fights mainly out of the Maryland area with firmly regional competition on his resume. The lone international name came in the form of 44 year old former champion Sam Soliman, who has not fought since losing to Wade. Wade has 12 knock outs in his 18 wins, but even in that department his stats fall far short of Golovkin’s 31 knock outs in 34 wins. HBO, Golovkin and everyone around him is banking on Golovkin rolling to a victory and going on to bigger fights, such as a potential clash between Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who at this point is HBO’s biggest draw. For his part , Gonzalez comes in a -7000 favorite over Arroyo, who is returning at +3000. Arroyo is a high skill competitor with an Olympic pedigree, but Gonzalez has crossed into the nearly untouchable territory of all-time great. Gonzalez has not gotten the attention he deserves because of his weight class, but in terns of pure boxing technique, he is a joy to watch. He was named as the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world after the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr, and many were skeptical. Gonzalez won a lot of fans over with his clinical dismantling of Brian Viloria, a two-division former world champion. If you review the Transnational Boxing Rankings (TBRB.org), Golovkin is ranked #4 in the world pound for pound, while Gonzalez owns the coveted #1 spot. Bottom line is this weekend is a chance to see two of the world’s top pugilists on free HBO.
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