Boxing trainer Abel Sanchez is one of the most sought after cornermen in the sport due to his success with IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and he has seen many top fighters seeking him out in hope of attaining the same success. Recently Sanchez helped guide Murat Gassiev to a win over long time cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev to take the IBF championship and he also nearly took heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz to a title this past weekend over highly touted heavyweight, Joseph Parker.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, I get his thoughts on Andy Ruiz’ fight from Saturday night in New Zealand and views on the close decision. Sanchez also talks about Murat Gassiev’s upset win and his thoughts on working with heavier weight fighters. Additionally, Abel discusses the negotiations to make Golovkin vs. Jacobs and shares his thoughts on the delay that is keeping Golovkin out of the ring until next year. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna: You were in New Zealand recently when Andy Ruiz took on Joseph Parker. Andy came up short in the fight, what were your thoughts on the fight?
Abel Sanchez: I thought Andy fought well. In the past Andy has not been able to go that many rounds without getting tired, and I thought that he gave a very good fight and was in shape. We just came up on the short end but I thought that we won the fight. I thought that we won the first four and then eleven and twelve, and I knew that we had to win a couple of rounds in between there.
Jenna: Do you think the scoring was fair, given that it was a close decision and one judge had it as a draw?
Abel Sanchez: Yeah, I knew it was a close fight, but I thought we had it by a couple of rounds anyway. But when you’re in a foreign country and you’re the visitor, you have to understand that the crowd sometimes influences the decisions, but it was a close enough fight that it could have been a draw or a one point fight the other way. Hopefully there’s a rematch, I think it deserves a rematch and maybe it can be on neutral ground.
Jenna: What do you think Andy can improve on to win a rematch?
Abel Sanchez: There’s a lot we can improve on. We only had him for about five weeks and actually in between that he went home because there was talk of the fight being postponed. He went home for about a week, so we didn’t get that much time to work on his weight, but the conditioning was there. We can improve on a lot of things. He’s still very young and very coach-able.
Jenna: You recently took Murat Gassiev to a win over Denis Lebedev. What were your thoughts on that fight?
Abel Sanchez: We went to Moscow, the hometown of Denis. They are both of Russian descent but Denis was the hometown boy and I think he got a little benefit on the score cards, but we still won. I think Murat, a young man at twenty three, fought the best cruiserweight in the world at the time and handled him quite easily and the great thing about it is that he’s only twenty three years old. We have a lot of learning and a lot of improvement to come.
Jenna: One thing I noticed in the fight was when Murat had Lebedev hurt he didn’t follow up and try to finish the fight. What things besides that do you think he can work on?
Abel Sanchez: There’s a whole lot of things to be improved on, but again, we fought a guy with a lot of experience, so it’s difficult for a young guy that has never been in a title fight and never gone twelve rounds. There’s a load of things that he needs to work on but the good thing is that he’s twenty three years old, we have time.
Jenna: How do you feel about working with bigger guys, being that you’ve been working with guys in lower weight classes for the past years?
Abel Sanchez: Working with Golovkin is like working with a heavyweight, he punches like one. As long as a guy wants to work and gives me one hundred percent in the gym, it really doesn’t matter what weight. If I have another guy in the gym who is the same weight, it helps both of the guys. As long as the guys are willing to work and giving me what I need in the gym, it doesn’t matter the weight.
Jenna: The fight with Gennady Golovkin and Danny Jacobs keeps getting delayed. Do you think the fight will happen?
Abel Sanchez: I don’t know know. I’m on my way to Miami and Tom Loeffler will be there, I’ll be able to sit with him and figure out where we are at. From what I understand, it’s going to purse bid on the 19th of December but there’s still time to negotiate something. I would hope that we fight Danny Jacobs in March, but more important for me is that Golovkin gets in the ring and fights.
Jenna: Are you upset that Golovkin wasn’t able to fight in December because of the delays with Jacobs?
Abel Sanchez: Yeah that’s unfortunate because by that time he will be close to thirty five years old, and we need to get him in the ring for all of us to enjoy the kind of fights that he puts on for us. Jacobs just delayed the negotiations. The 18th of March is on HBO, so hopefully it is Jacobs, but whoever it is, Gennady will be happy to be back in the ring.