This Saturday, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0) puts his IBF Middleweight belt on the line against unbeaten DMV fighter (acronym for DC-MD-VA), Dominic Wade.
Wade (18-0) is managed by Jerry Vines, who has also been the management for local DMV R&B acts Raheem DeVaughn and Dru Hill. However, insiders know that Wade’s real adviser is Al Haymon, the Harvard educated expert adviser/strategist that has ruled various forms of entertainment with a deft hand.
When the IBF deemed Wade the mandatory challenger for Golovkin, speculation swirled around the following question - if Haymon would allow the bout or force Wade to consider other options, as there are two glaring, adverse business points to consider. Triple G is an HBO televised fighter and Wade looks extremely overmatched on paper.
Back in 2013, HBO, once the U.S. leader in televised boxing, announced that it was severing ties with Golden Boy Promotions, the company founded by boxing great Oscar De La Hoya.
At the time, the Golden Boy roster consisted mainly of fighters managed by Haymon, the live concert promoter turned boxer advisor who quickly became an adversary to both networks and promoters not in line with his strategies.
Ousted former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer, expressed his discontent to ESPN back in 2013, shedding light on Haymon’s penchant for angering networks with his flexing of his client roster against them.
"The president of HBO Sports (Ken Hershman) did not have any conversations with me since last November or December about anything," said Schaefer. "It is clear that in the aftermath of the biggest names in the sport, Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, leaving HBO for Showtime, that HBO is obviously upset at (Mayweather adviser) Al Haymon and me, and this is their way of getting back at us.“
The legendary deal that brought Floyd Mayweather to close out his career on Showtime PPV under the auspices of then new Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza, wasn’t that surprising to those in the know. After all, Espinoza was the lead attorney for Golden Boy Promotions before taking the helm at Showtime Sports.
However, what is surprising is that Haymon, who created Premier Boxing Champions and took all his champions off of premium cable television and to network TV, is allowing Wade to take a fight that looks virtually unwinnable.
Although this will truly be the biggest fight of Wade’s career, the talk about the event surrounds the winner of Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan on May 7th to see who will fight Triple G next.
Speaking of Khan, another Haymon client, he is the second to return to HBO from the adviser’s stable and the first on the network's pay-per-view platform.
There's an absence of intrigue over Wade’s possible besting of Golovkin. Most in the media think his chances of winning are non-existent. And with Golovkin doing a disappointing 150,000 buys on his first and only pay-per-view against David Lemieux, one has to think for Haymon it is about raising the profile of his unsung fighter.
“Yes, it kind of motivates me a little bit due to everybody’s just looking past you already,” said Wade. “Nobody really gave me the chance, so everybody’s kind of looking past, trying to see the Triple G and Canelo fight, but you know you never know what happens in this fight. Maybe I’ll be the one to shut it all down.”
Maybe. One thing is for certain, we all know Haymon is capable of shutting the whole game down.