The Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez rematch happened one year after the first, but it turned out to be well worth the wait, as the combatants put on one of the best fights of the year. Going into the match, there was a lot of talk on both sides about the controversy of the first bout and the positive drug tests from Canelo. In the end, the fight itself exceeded expectations and both fighters left the ring with a greater respect for each other.
Trainer Abel Sanchez was one of the biggest critics of Canelo Alvarez, pointing to both his approach to the first bout and the positive test that delayed the rematch. I had a chance to speak to Abel in the aftermath of the rematch and get his views on the fight and Canelo’s performance. Abel breaks down the key moments in the bout and talks about Alvarez Gambling in the match by standing in front of Golovkin. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: This weekend, boxing fans were treated to a heck of a fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Can you talk a little about the fight?
Abel Sanchez: I think that we got the fight that we were all hoping we would get. We got a real classic between two of the best fighters in the middleweight division. I think they are separated by one round in the first fight and one round in this fight.
The twelfth round was a pivotal round in this fight and two of the judges had it for Canelo. There’s a lot of dispute about what people think but the bottom line is, the three competent judges had Canelo winning by one round, and we have to accept the fact that that’s the decision.
Jenna J: Were you at all surprised that Canelo came forward and took the fight to Golovkin?
Abel Sanchez: No, we knew that we had not only goaded him enough but there was pressure on him to perform for his fans. I think they both fought a fantastic fight. Two gladiators came out of the ring as champions. They both gave everything in the ring and I think that’s what we wanted.
Jenna J: Do you think this performance vindicates Canelo for the positive PED test?
Abel Sanchez: I think he’s vindicated. I think that he fought the kind of fight that his fans and the fans in general expected. He fought the kind of fight that he talked about. He made a mistake and we have to believe that he did it, he was checked twelve to fourteen times for this fight and they were all negative. They put on the kind of fight that clean good fighters put on, giving us the thrills in every round. The pace was unbelievable, it was great to see from the corner.
Jenna J: You urged Gennady to be very active in the twelfth round, did you feel the fight was held in the balance going into that last round?
Abel Sanchez: I thought that we needed to make sure of a win, you close strong and you do the things that you need to do to show the judges that you’re in control. I thought we won the twelfth round and a lot of people do also, but that’s the beauty of having three unobstructed views from ringside to judge a fight with unbiased eyes. Unfortunately for us, that round was the difference.
Jenna J: In the tenth and eleventh round, Gennady seemed to hurt Canelo. Were you surprised that Canelo held up to that?
Abel Sanchez: No, I knew that he would hold up. I’ve seen him train, I’ve seen him fight before, I’ve had him in the gym with us before, so I know that he’s an exceptional fighter. I hope that that would have happened earlier in the fight so that we could have had more time to hurt him.
These two guys left their hearts in the ring at the end of twelve rounds. I’m sure the things they said to each other after the fight will never be known but I’m sure they were of mutual respect and admiration for what they had just done.
STAY TUNED TO ONTHEROPESBOXING.COM FOR PART 2 OF MY INTERVIEW WITH ABEL SANCHEZ<B\>