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Golovkin stops Wade in 2nd round for 22nd straight KO win

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Gennady Golovkin defended his middleweight titles in devastating fashion again Saturday night, stopping Dominic Wade in the second round for his 22nd straight knockout victory.

Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) knocked down Wade three times in the short fight, brutalizing the previously undefeated challenger before ending the bout on a right to the chin with 23 seconds left in the second.

A sold-out Forum roared for its adopted champion in his 16th consecutive title defense.

“This is a big present for my fans,” Golovkin said. “I’m here now and I’m here to stay. I’m not going anywhere.”

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez also defended his WBC 112-pound title with a unanimous decision over McWilliams Arroyo.

Golovkin and Gonzalez combined to pack the famous arena south of downtown Los Angeles for the second time in a year, attracting 16,353 savvy boxing fans who understand the sublime brutality of the Kazakh 160-pound champion and the Nicaraguan flyweight.

Wearing blue-and-gold trunks to celebrate the Los Angeles Rams’ NFL return to a future stadium across the street from the Forum, Golovkin opened his bout in his new hometown with the crowd repeatedly chanting “Triple G!”

And Golovkin was relentless from the bell, knocking down Wade (18-1) with a punch to the ear in the final seconds of the opening round. After absorbing a few punches from Wade with negligible impact, Golovkin landed a dynamite combination in the second round, flooring Wade with a left uppercut and a right to the body.

Golovkin finished his woozy opponent with a right hand that left Wade face-down on his knees. Golovkin, who idolizes the same Mexican boxers beloved in Los Angeles, got another enormous cheer when he greeted the fans with “Muchas gracias!”

Golovkin was an enormous favorite to beat Wade, his mandatory challenger for one of his belts. Although Golovkin has dominated the middleweight division, he still covets a superfight with Canelo Alvarez, who holds the WBC version of the 160-pound belt after beating Miguel Cotto at a 155-pound catch weight last year.

Alvarez has said he is willing to fight Golovkin, but Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, appears less interested. When asked if he had a message for Alvarez, Golovkin said: “Give me my belt!”

Gonzalez (45-0) is widely considered the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, and the 112-pound dynamo put on another virtuoso display in his fourth straight title defense.

Yet the Nicaraguan champion’s streak of 10 consecutive stoppages victories was ended by Arroyo (16-3), whose gritty effort on a damaged shoe earned him respect from a crowd supporting Gonzalez.

Nobody had gone the distance with Gonzalez since Juan Francisco Estrada in November 2012. Two judges scored the bout 119-109 for Gonzalez, and a third gave every round to the champion, 120-108. The Associated Press scored it 119-109 for Gonzalez.

“This shows that I can win either by knockout or by going the distance,” Gonzalez said through a translator. “It was a very difficult fight, but McWilliams moves very well, and he knows how to avoid the punches.”

Manny Pacquiao loses WBO welterweight title on points to Jeff Horn

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Jeff Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in a Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people.

The 11-time world champion entered the fight at Suncorp Stadium as a hot favorite but got more than he bargained for against the 29-year-old former schoolteacher.

Still, Pacquiao dominated the later rounds and the result could have gone his way.

Pacquiao’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach predicted the fight would be short and sweet but Horn – unbeaten in his 17 previous professional fights – applied pressure by winning some of the early rounds and Pacquiao needed treatment during the 6th and 7th rounds for a cut on the top of his head that resulted from a clash of heads.

The judges scored the fight 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113, with Horn immediately calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr., after the fight, declaring himself “no joke.”

Roach had said earlier in the week that he’d think about advising Pacquioa to retire if he lost the fight, but that would depend on how he fought.

Pacquiao’s camp had talked about a rematch with Mayweather if he got past Horn, hoping to avenge his loss on points in the 2015 mega fight. That seems to be a distant chance now.

Pacquiao, who entered the fight with a record of 59-6-2, 38 knockouts, was defending the WBO title he won on points against Jessie Vargas last November.

Mayweather vs. McGregor odds: Sportsbooks set betting lines, props for fight

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Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stand to collect a massive payday whether their superfight is a charade or a combat sports classic, and there’s plenty of upside for bettors too.

With the bout set, Mayweather is a -600 moneyline favorite against the +400 underdog McGregor at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.  Mayweather will put a 49-0 ring record on the line in the August 26 bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, while McGregor, a UFC champion at two weights, might prove a point just by having a decent showing.

The moneyline has tightened considerably since the first rumors about the fight. Last November, Mayweather opened at -2250 and McGregor opened at +950. Evidently, many MMA fans found McGregor irresistible at that price, as it steadily dropped, falling to +450 by late April. That was also the point where the moneyline on ‘Money’ came down to -700.

The over/under on rounds is 9.5. A 10-round fight is uncharted waters for McGregor, but 13 of Mayweather’s last 14 fights have gone at least 10 rounds. Twelve have gone the full 12 rounds; the Mayweather-McGregor betting odds on whether the fight goes the distance pays +125 if it does, and -175 if it’s stopped early.

McGregor also pays +120 if he wins by decision, which is the standard outcome for his bouts against full-time boxers. McGregor’s method-of-victory props include +700 for a knockout and +3300 for victory by decision.

There is little in the way of past performance to go on here, since McGregor hasn’t boxed since he was a teenager in Ireland. Mayweather’s defensive skills should allow him to parry any early onslaught from McGregor, who is a knockout artist in the UFC octagon and rarely has fights go more than two rounds.

The round prices offer the most potential profit for Mayweather backers. One can assume that the skilled defensive fighter might dance around while McGregor goes out hard. It might be prudent to scale down expectations of a quick finish – +3300 for Mayweather winning in Round 1, +2500 for Round 2 – and look at the slightly later rounds. Rounds 4 through 6 are listed at +1600 and +1400.

While Mayweather’s round prices trace a reverse parabola, McGregor’s round prices are relatively stable. The Irishman offers +4000 for a win in Round 1, or each one from Rounds 4-7. There is a slight drop to +3300 for both Round 2 and 3.

Another way to bet on the Mayweather-McGregor fight is the 4.99 million total for pay-per-view buys. The over hitting would require beating the audience for Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquaio (4.6 million). McGregor also holds the UFC’s PPV record of 1.65 million, set at UFC 202 in August 2016

With boxing and MMA fans creating a larger fanbase and the event being scheduled for the dog days of late August – before the NFL and college football blot out everything else on the sports landscape – 5 million buys seems doable.