The question that the boxing world has asked in recent years is who will carry the sport when its biggest stars, Mayweather and Pacquiao retire. Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced his retirement after his September 12th win over Andre Berto and most recently Bob Arum announced the Manny Pacquiao’s April 9th bout will be his last, so with boxing’s big names heading out the door, the fighter most people think could carry the sport is rising super star, Gennady Golovkin.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with trainer Abel Sanchez, I get his thoughts on if he really believes Floyd Mayweather has had his last fight and if he thinks Golovkin would still meet him at a catch weight. Abel also talks about the future of Manny Pacquiao and what fights he sees out there for him. Additionally, Sanchez talks about his stable of fighters and the bouts they have coming up. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: In most people’s pound-for-pound list, they have Gennady Golovkin in the top three. What does it mean to you to try to get him to the number one spot? What type of fights do you think it takes to get to that spot?
Abel Sanchez: That is a spot or a ranking that is for you guys, the press, and for the people. It doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me is that Golovkin fights the best fights out there and that he keeps proving that he’s the best middleweight.
If the public judges him to be the best, then great, we’re humbled by it. But there’s a lot of great fighters out there that as Gennady put it, to him right now it’s vacant, there are a lot of great fighters out there that could be number one, ‘Chocolatito’ being one of them and the winner of Cotto-Canelo being the other one. There’s a lot of guys that are out there that are deserving, but if we are nominated or we are looked at as that, we’re humbled by it.
Jenna J: I want to get your views on Floyd Mayweather Jr. Do you think he will ever come back? Do you think there’s a fight out there that can draw him back to the sport?
Abel Sanchez: I think that Floyd is teasing us and I think he will definitely come back, but it’s gonna be on his terms, as it always has been. I just hope that when he does come back that he views the public with enough respect that he takes a fight that is gonna be something that is gonna be accepted by the fans, but if he takes another Berto then I think he’s doing himself a disservice and for his legacy, we’re gonna look at him a little bit different.
He’s a great fighter with a great name and if he comes back I think he needs to fight somebody who’s gonna give us that warm fuzzy feeling that at least he went out on a high note.
Jenna J: If for some reason Floyd comes back and mentions the name of Gennady, would Golovkin be willing to come down in weight still? Now that he’s the middleweight champion, would he come down in weight for Floyd?
Abel Sanchez: Golovkin has stated many times in the past that the Floyd Mayweather fight would be his dream fight and he’s the only one that he would come down to 154lbs for, the only one that he would come down for by choice, not by being forced. If Floyd decides to come back and decides that’s who he wants, Gennady would make all efforts to try to accommodate him.
Jenna J: When we talk about the future of Golovkin, another name that came up at the post fight press conference was that of Carl Froch. Is Gennady still willing to go up to 168lbs for that one?
Abel Sanchez: Carl Froch is a guy that we’ve always respected. Golovkin respects him tremendously for what he’s accomplished. I think the fact that he’s such a glow in England and filled up the Wembley Stadium when he fought George Groves, he still is somebody that Golovkin would love to fight because of that.
Golovkin is looking for the biggest names, the biggest fights, the biggest financial reward fights for him and Carl represents one of those. Whether it’s in England, whether it’s in New York or Las Vegas, I think that Golovkin is willing to go anywhere to fight Carl Froch.
Jenna J: I’m curious about what you think of Manny Pacquiao. Where do you think he goes when he comes back in the spring?
Abel Sanchez: I think Manny is gonna return and I think Manny will take on somebody that’s relevant. Manny and Bob have always talked about him coming back and fighting somebody real, and when he does I think he will do well.
He’s had some time off, his body is going to recuperate, his shoulder will get better and there’s a lot of welterweight out there that are not marquee names, but are exceptionally good fighter. Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, so there’s some good challenges for Manny at 147lbs.
So if Manny does come back and he fights a guy like that, I think it puts him back in line for another big name fight with some of the bigger guys. If Floyd comes back, it could be fight with Floyd, who knows.
Jenna J: Lets talk about your stable of fighters, can you talk about your fighters and their future fights?
Abel Sanchez: We have Sullivan Barrera fighting on the 12th of December for the mandatory in the IBF for the light heavyweights, which will be in line to fight Sergey Kovalev. I have Denis Shafikov fighting Rances Barthelemy on the 5th of December for the lightweight title. I have Konstantin Ponomarev who’s a welterweight, 28-0, he’s fighting on the Bradley-Rios undercard. I believe he’s fighting some German kid.
We have Freddy Lawson fighting on the 7th of November also in Miami, fighting Kevin Bizier for the number one spot in the IBF also. We have a very good stable right now, a very good group of guys that are in the top five in the world, so we’re extremely happy that we’re doing so well.
Jenna J: The Gennady Golovkin brand is growing, he was recently seen in an Apple commercial, how far do you see Golovkin going?
Abel Sanchez: I’m fortunate that Tom Loeffler and the Herman brothers and the publicity team have done such a magnificent job with the things outside of boxing. My job is to do it in the gym. We also have a Jordan sponsorship now and they have other things that are in waiting for him to finish and finalize.
I said a long time ago that I felt that he eventually — if he got the fights — could be one of the greatest middleweights to ever fight. I still think that, now it’s just a matter of lining up the opponents so that he can do what I think he can do to everyone of the middleweights out there.