Dominic Wade hasn’t been seen in the ring by his April 23 opponent Gennady Golovkin, who said he’d never even heard of Wade until being told fight negotiations were in process.
Wade said he plans to do make himself far more familiar with Golovkin in their HBO-televised bout at the Forum.
After missing Tuesday’s Los Angeles news conference because of weather delays on the East Coast, Wade told The Times in a Wednesday telephone interview that he relishes this long-awaited shot at becoming a world champion and believes he can win.
“I don’t think he’s Superman,” Wade said of Golovkin (34-0, 31 knockouts), who’s listed at or near the top of most pound-for-pound rankings. “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.”
The 25-year-old Wade (18-0, 12 KOs) beat awkward-fighting former middleweight world champion Sam Soliman by split decision in June, and was elevated to Golovkin’s mandatory International Boxing Federation title defense after Tureano Johnson suffered a shoulder injury.
Wade said that with nearly 200 fights of amateur experience, he’s “seen it all,” and plans to “go in there and work,” pushing to outbox the well-schooled power-puncher Golovkin, who resides in Los Angeles and will train in Big Bear.
Golovkin is on a 21-fight knockout streak, and has made 15 successful defenses of his World Boxing Assn. title.
Wade is embracing the motivation that comes with “this great opportunity. … This is the chance of my career and I’m not every other fighter, I’m me. When my name came up, that was motivation in the first place.
“When [manager] Al [Haymon] called me with it, I said, straightforward, ‘Let’s do it, let’s take this shot.’ ”
Haymon’s longtime assistant, Sam Watson, said Wade impressed him and Haymon by so eagerly accepting the challenge of Golovkin, who added the IBF belt to his WBA version with a technical knockout of David Lemieux in October at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.
“This is what a real fighter wants, and there was no hesitation from him, just an attitude of ‘This is what I do,’ ” Watson said. “In the pros, 18 have fought him and 18 have lost. He’s going to fight. He has his back to the wall and Dominic’s coming to win, not to just fight. He can move, he can hit hard, he can win.”
Watson assessed that Wade is more skilled than Willie Monroe Jr., who landed some punches on Golovkin in their May fight at the Forum.
“We’ll check him out, not too much time, because we have to do what we have to do to be prepared, but we’ll look for his weaknesses,” Wade said.
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