Gennady Golovkin’s recent eight round destruction of David Lemieux was as one sided and dominant a performance as we have seen from the Kazakh boxer. With the win, ‘Triple G’ moved himself one step closer to becoming the undisputed champion and also has moved himself up the P4P ranks toward the #1 spot. Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, has helped guide his charge toward his current position and hopes to see his fighter take that next step to super stardom by fighting the winner of Canelo-Cotto.
In part 1 of this “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, I get his opinion on Golovkin’s latest win and his views on some of the key moments in the fight. Sanchez also talks about the potential match up with the winner of Canleo vs. Cotto and if he thinks ‘GGG’ would be willing to fight at 155lbs for the winner. Additionally, Abel talks about the PPV buys for the fight and if he thinks Golovkin can climb up to the #1 P4P position. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Gennady Golovkin looked very impressive in his performance against David Lemieux, how did you feel about his overall performance?
Abel Sanchez: I thought he did very well, he did exactly what we had talked about and practiced in the gym. I was very satisfied with how he did it and how he went about it.
Jenna J: You were going up against a dangerous puncher, did you guys plan to use the jab more in this fight?
Abel Sanchez: Not only because of David Lemieux, I wanted to make sure that he displayed more of his tools and his talents, and David provided the perfect canvas for that, the lunging guy that was trying to be aggressive and was kept at bay with the jab. Golovkin also maintained distance and discipline in doing that.
Jenna J: During the fight Lemieux went down in the fifth round in which Golovkin let off one punch more than he wanted to when Lemieux was down. What were you thinking in that round?
Abel Sanchez: I was thinking, “Don’t lose your cool, make sure you stay composed,” and when he got back to the corner I got on him for that because you don’t want to make mistakes like that at this level. Obviously it was nothing that was malicious, it was a continuation of what he had been trying to do as a combination, but it doesn’t matter, he’s a professional and he should stay composed and make sure that he does things right.
Jenna J: Do you think the fight was stopped at the right time?
Abel Sanchez: I think so, I think there’s a lot of parameters that have to be used. There’s a lot of thoughts that goes into the referee’s mind, one is, “Does this guy have a chance to win?” Two, “Is he winning any rounds?” Three, “Is he getting to the opponent?” Four, “Is he taking a beating?” In all four of those I think “yes” would have been the answer.
As soon as he got hurt with that body shot and he grimaced, he was actually quite defenseless against the ropes and he didn’t go down, so Golovkin had an opportunity to go after him. If he had gone down then it would have been a different story because then he gets an eight count, but there’s no standing eight in a fight. He was up against the ropes grimacing from a body shot and Golovkin could have jumped on him and hurt him even more.
Jenna J: How did you feel about the atmosphere at the Madison Square Garden?
Abel Sanchez: It was a lot of fun, just the noise gives you goose bumps. The cheering, everything about that situation and the circumstances that surrounded it was very enjoyable because we’re finally at that point after three years of what we had always dreamed about what could happen.
Jenna J: Golovkin now has the IBO, IBF, WBA and interim WBC belts. How do you feel about the fact that he’s cleaning out the division right now?
Abel Sanchez: Well these are all things that were planned a long time ago. Gennady had to do his part inside the ring, he had to make sure to win decisively but all these things were talked about three years ago amongst the team and Tom Loffler. These are the things that we wanted to accomplish and fortunately for us and for the fans, it has come a little sooner than we thought it would but we are extremely happy and extremely elated that it has happened.
Jenna J: Gennady had his pay-per-view fight and he sold 150,000 pay-per-views. What do you think about that number?
Abel Sanchez: I’m the coach, I’m the guy that gets him ready for those opportunities. The business end of it we leave to the promoters and the managers. We’re happy that we were fortunate enough to be on pay-per-view and whatever number came in I was happy with, as long as the promoters at least broke even or made some money for taking a chance.
It’s the first time, he’s a Kazakh fighting a Canadian, not a household name, he’s a guy who’s beginning to resonate with some of the casual fans and not just the hardcore boxing fans. All in all, I was extremely happy that there was 21,000 people there and getting 150,000 buys was icing on the cake for me.
Jenna J: The next fight for Golovkin could be against the winner of Canelo-Cotto, although Canelo recently came out and said he if he does fight Gennady that it will have to be at 155lbs. Do you see any chance that Gennady would take a catch weight fight?
Abel Sanchez: Well first of all understand that Canelo has got a tough fight on the 21st of November against Cotto. He’s gotta win that one first and win it decisively. Second of all, Golovkin is the interim champion who is mandated to fight the winner of the Cotto-Canelo for the 160lb title, which is the middleweight title.
Canelo hasn’t got a leg to stand on if he’s gonna demand to fight at a catch weight because if he can’t fight at 160lbs then he can vacate the belt and we can fight somebody else. Gennady is not after Canelo or Cotto, Golovkin is after the middleweight belt and he wants all four of them, the major ones. Once he does that, then we’ll look at other options, but Cotto or Canelo is not what’s on his mind, the middleweight belt is what’s on his mind, and whoever is across the ring is the next victim.
Jenna J: Do you think either Canelo or Cotto would take that fight, or do you think they’re gonna end up vacating the belt?
Abel Sanchez: I’ve heard interviews from Freddie saying that he’s very confident that Cotto will beat Canelo and that ‘GGG’ will be next. I hope that the whole camp feels that way because I think boxing deserves it and I think if you’re a middleweight, you’re a middleweight.
If you’re not a middleweight then you shouldn’t be fighting for the middleweight title — whether he comes in at 155, 158 or 152. If you’re fighting for the middleweight title as they are on the 21st, then they are middleweights. If not then don’t be fighting for the middleweight title, don’t keep it hostage, give it up and let somebody else fight for it. I would hope that they live up to their word through the WBC to defend that belt against Golovkin, and if not then that’s okay with us, we’ll just go on to the next opponent.