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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.”

Pacquiao plans to return to the ring Nov. 5

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LAS VEGAS (AP) Manny Pacquiao isn’t ready to give up his night job just yet.

Pacquiao, who said before his last fight in April that he would retire, now plans to return to the ring in November against an opponent who has yet to be selected.

Promoter Bob Arum said Tuesday that Pacquiao got permission to take a break from his new duties as a senator in the Philippines to take another fight. It will be held Nov. 5, likely in Las Vegas.

“He likes to fight and he likes the attention,” Arum said of Pacquiao’s return.

Pacquiao looked impressive in his last fight in April, returning from a layoff to knock down Timothy Bradley on his way to a unanimous decision. After the fight he wavered on his previous plans to retire.

“If you ask me to come back I don’t know,” Pacquiao said. “I may be enjoying retired life. I’m not there yet so I just don’t know.”

Pacquiao, who was formerly a congressman in his native country, was elected to the Senate in May and there were fears that increased duties would prevent him from fighting again.

But Arum said the head of the Senate told Pacquiao he was free to fight after the country’s budget is settled on Oct. 15.

“He would train in the Philippines and leave on the 16th to come to the U.S., train for two weeks and then come to Vegas,” Arum said. “The only issue is getting an arena for the fight.”

Arum said he is talking with MGM Resorts about an arena to host the fight. He had reserved the Mandalay Bay arena for Oct. 15, but Pacquaio can’t leave his Senate duties that early.

The fight also could be at the UNLV campus arena, he said, though UNLV would have to move a scheduled basketball exhibition from the date.

There were reports that Pacquiao might fight Adrien Broner, but Arum said he wanted the same money as Pacquiao, which was a non-starter. Another possible opponent would be Jesse Vargas, who fights for Top Rank, and holds a piece of the welterweight title.

Pacquiao was off for nearly a year after losing in May 2015 to Floyd Mayweather Jr., healing from a shoulder injury. But he seemed reinvigorated after beating Bradley in April in a performance that got good reviews from most, including trainer Freddie Roach.

“When I see Manny Pacquiao like that, this is the best Manny Pacquiao,” Roach said after the fight. “He hasn’t missed a beat. I would like to see him fight again.”

Laila Ali, Jaime Foxx pay tribute to Muhammad Ali

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Laila Ali paid tribute to her late father, sports icon Muhammad Ali, during the BET Awards on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Ali, a retired boxer herself, started to choke up as she spoke about her father’s legacy and the outpouring of support since his death at the age of 74 on June 3 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

“My father, Muhammad Ali, lived his life with conviction and purpose,” Ali said. “He is known as the greatest athlete of all time, a man who fearlessly faced opposition both in and outside the ring.”

Actor Jamie Foxx, who starred in the 2001 biopic about the icon’s life, “Ali,” as Ali’s cornerman Drew Bundini Brown, also spoke about the legend, noting that he stood up when no one else was doing so.

After getting a standing ovation, Ali stood in front of a photo of her father holding her as an infant and talked about her father’s evolution in his heart, mind and spirit over the course of his lifetime.

“These past few weeks my father’s generosity and love has been matched by a worldwide outpouring of love and reverence for him and our entire family,” Ali said.

“If he was here today, he would humbly ask you to pray not just for our family, but for all of mankind.”