Formidable force Gennady Golovkin is closing in on naming his next opponent as IBF number three Dominic Wade is ready to face the unified middleweight champion this spring.
Golovkin had wanted to face Billy Joe Saunders in a bid to add the WBO belt to his WBA, IBO, IBF and interim WBC versions, although a reported $5m offer was turned down by the newly-crowned Briton.
A switch to the IBF rankings then put mandatory challenger Tureano Johnson in the frame until the Bahamian was forced to pull out of negotiations. And that left ‘GGG’ with no option but to head to the next in line – undefeated American Wade, 25, – for his April 23 return in California.
In-form Wade is 18-0 as a pro since 2009 but will go into the fight at The Forum as a massive underdog to halt the rapid rise of one of the world’s pound for pound best in Golovkin.
In other news, the WBA have ordered ‘super’ champion Takashi Uchiyama and ‘regular’ title holder Javier Fortuna, both at 130 pounds, to agree a fight by the beginning of March.
Uchiyama, who was named fighter of the year in Japan, and has eleven successful defenses of his belt, whilst Fortuna earned his title in May 2015 after beating Bryan Vasquez.
Both have been notified of the decision as the WBA seek to head back to one title per weight class.
Finally, former world champions Abner Mares and Fernando Montiel are set to trade punches on March 12. Showtime confirmed the featherweight contest will act as co-feature to Keith Thurman v Shawn Porter in an announcement on Wednesday.