Golovkin Warns Canelo-Khan Winner: Just Give Me My Belt

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Gennady Golovkin

Among a string of 22 consecutive knockouts, it’s possible that Gennady Golovkin’s latest feat was his easiest task to date. The unbeaten, unified middleweight titlist walked through overmatched mandatory challenger Dominic Wade, scoring three knockdowns en route to a 2nd round knockout win Saturday evening.

The sold-out crowd of more than 16,000 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. wasn’t at all disappointed over the manner in which the HBO-televised main event played out. The fight was a mismatch on paper, which left Golovkin to deliver a spectacular performance for however long it lasted. The knockout artist from Kazakhstan did just that, but by his own admission will require more to satisfy his in-ring goal of total middleweight domination.

“I’m still champ. Of course I need big name or big fight,” Golovkin (35-0, 32KOs) stated to HBO’s Max Kellerman after the fight, which served as his 16th successful defense of at least one middleweight belt. “Tonight, not easy work, just a big present for my fans.”

The fight surfaced as the result of an agreement with World (lineal) middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for each to take one interim title fight before entering negotiations for a mandatory title fight due this fall. In addition to the lineal crown, Alvarez inherited the World Boxing Council (WBC) title in last November’s 12-round win over Miguel Cotto.

With the WBC belt came the obligation to defend against Golovkin, who – while serving as the WBA “super”, plus IBO and IBF regular – is the WBC interim titlst and owed a crack at the full version of the title. He took this opportunity to get a mandatory of his own out of the way, only after efforts to land fights with Alvarez and WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders proved futile.

For his voluntary defense, Alvarez (46-1-1, 32KOs) has asked former 140-pound titlist and current welterweight contender Amir Khan to move up to the unofficial Caneloweight of 155-pounds for their May 7 HBO Pay-Per-View headliner at the freshly erected T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The winner will have 15 days to either negotiate a fight with Golovkin, or hand over the title to the fire-breathing Kazakh boxer. Because it’s a mandatory fight, demanding a catchweight is not an option, a scenario that has most fans and boxing experts believing Golovkin will wind up WBC champ by default.

Either way is fine with Golovkin, whose primary goal is to become undisputed middleweight champion. Whether he beats them in the ring or they dump their titles at the front door is of little concern to him.

“It doesn’t matter who wins,” Golovkin says of the May 7 clash. “Just give me my belt. I need my belt.”

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