Abel Sanchez is most known for his work as a trainer with IBO/WBA/WBC/IBF Middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, but Sanchez also has other fighters that have reached championship level or are not far from it. The gym Abel Sanchez built in Big bear California is a training ground for some of the best prospects and contenders of the sport, fighters that hope to build their name and success as big as Golovkins.
In part 3 of my special interview with Abel Sanchez, I discuss with him his views on the future of Manny Pacquiao and if he thinks ‘Pacman’ should face Keith Thurman. Sanchez also speaks on his current stable of fighters and what fights they have coming up. Additionally, Abel shares his views on Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez and if that fight will happen this year. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao was supposed to face Amir Khan but the fight fell through. Do you think Pacquiao has any good fights left at this point, or is he just looking for a big one?
Abel Sanchez: No, I think he’s got a couple of good fights left. He’s been very physically fit, strong and fast in his last couple of fights. I think the Vargas fight showed that Manny can still box, move and punch. He’s still in the game. I don’t think being above welterweight would be the best thing for him, but welterweight or even junior welterweight would probably be best. I think he can still do well in a couple more fights.
Jenna J: Would you have any interest in seeing him fight someone like Keith Thurman?
Abel Sanchez: I would love to see the rematch between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but yeah I think that Manny would beat Keith Thurman easily. I think that’s a good fight because it’s a top welterweight and it’s the kind of fight that Manny should be having if he’s going to stay in the game.
Jenna J: Can you tell us about some of the fighters that you’re currently working with and some of their upcoming fights?
Abel Sanchez: We have Murat Gassiev who is the IBF cruiserweight champion making his first defense at the end of May or maybe at the middle of June. We have Denis Shafikov fighting Robert Easter for the title sometime in June also. We have Konstantin Ponomarev fighting in May, he’s a welterweight who is 31-0. Alex Saucedo will be fighting in May also, they are talking about fighting in Boston. I have Michel Soro fighting for the IBF 154lb interim title in France on the 22nd of April.
Jenna J: How do you keep track of all the dates for the upcoming fights of your boxers?
Abel Sanchez: It’s my job. I truly enjoy the heck out of it, I enjoy working with these kids and watching them grow and watching them prosper and winning titles. It’s important for them to know that I’m on top of things because they’re just as important as Gennady to me. I have to make sure that we don’t forget any of them and we don’t make light of a guy only because he’s a four round fighter, he’s just as important to me as Gennady is. I have to make sure that I remember all those names because it’s important to them.
Jenna J: Do you see Gennady Golovkin having a rematch with Daniel Jacobs in the future?
Abel Sanchez: The future is kind of mapped out in the near future at the moment. If it does happen maybe it’s three or four fights away. Gennady is fighting in September against somebody, and if it’s Canelo then it will be Canelo, then after that, it will be his 20th defense. Will he stay and do the 21st defense to break Bernard Hopkins’ record? I don’t know if he stays at 160 lbs or if he moves up to 168 lbs before the end of the year or at the beginning of next year. The guy who has been talking about fighting him is Gilberto Ramirez, so there are possibilities there. The next three or four fights are really scheduled already, or tentatively scheduled. A Jacobs fight would be five or six fights down the road.
Jenna J: Do you think a fight between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez happens this year?
Abel Sanchez: As a fight fan, I hope so. As Gennady’s trainer, I have to look at what Tom puts in front of us next, hopefully Billy Joe Saunders. As a fight fan involved in the game, I hope it does happen because that’s the next big fight, that’s the big fight that everyone is waiting for in boxing. I hope it does happen, but until we’re in the ring, there’s nothing that I can do about it happening or not happening.