Dominic Wade & Barry Hunter photo by Anna John for StiffJab.com
by Gautham Nagesh
Aside from making the U.S. Olympic team, the best thing a young boxer can do for their career these days is sign with shadowy talent manager and former concert promoter Al Haymon. Like most Harvard grads, Haymon probably gets more credit than he deserves, but there’s no denying his stacked roster of talent: Floyd Mayweather, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, and many of the sport’s rising stars.
The latest name to join that list is Largo super middleweight Dominic Wade, (above) who joins fellow Maryland natives Seth Mitchell and Gary Russell Jr. as local members of Haymon’s stable. Wade is a member of the Headbangers team and trained by Barry Hunter, who also guides Lamont and Anthony Peterson, and Alantez Fox, among others.
"I can’t really speak on it too much right now. I just got a call, and we’ll see what is the next move. But I did sign, I definitely signed with [Haymon]," Wade told me on Saturday at ringside.
"He [Haymon] is my manager and my advisor, so I’ve got to go speak to him" before figuring out what comes next, Wade added.
Wade was one of the most highly-rated amateur boxers in the country before turning pro in 2009 at just 19. He ran off eleven straight victories as a pro, mostly fighting on Prize Fight Promotions cards in Mississippi, before his career lost momentum in February of 2011.
Wade has fought just once since then, a second-round stoppage of Marcus Brooks in February on the undercard of Lamont Peterson vs. Kendall Holt at D.C. Armory. The fight was forgettable enough that we didn’t even bother including it in our coverage of the event.
Despite the long layoff, Wade insists he has been in the gym everyday. His hope is to fight again in September, but that will likely depend on whether his handlers can find him a slot on one of the upcoming Golden Boy cards headlined by Haymon’s fighters on September 7th and 14th.
In truth, I’m probably guilty of overlooking Wade, especially since he’s long been considered one of the most talented young fighters in the region. But in my defense, Wade had never fought in the area as a pro before the Brooks fight, and his long stretch of inactivity has unfortunately coincided with the growth and development of this site.
Fortunately, Dominic is only 23, and signing with Haymon means he will be given every opportunity to reach his full potential. Wade had a reputation in his youth for sometimes getting bored with his training. The spell on the shelf could have sapped his focus, but apparently he remains devoted enough to boxing to draw the interest of the sport’s top talent broker.
The Headbangers team has quickly become a unit of up-and-coming pros that support each other, much like Kronk Gym in its heyday or the current stable growing in Cincinnati around Broner and Rau’Shee Warren. Being surrounded by so much talent should only help Wade develop, while Haymon should ensure he is in a position to become one of the best 168-pounders in the world.
For local fight fans, the bottom line is this: remember the name Dominic Wade. It shouldn’t be long before you see him on a TV near you.