Boxing trainer Abel Sanchez has one of the biggest stars of the sport amongst his stable of fighters, as Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has quickly become one of the most exciting champions in the game. While Golovkin has gained a big following in boxing, he still has lacked a big name opponent to challenge him in the ring.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, I talk with him about some of the options that are out there for Golovkin and if he thinks those fights will materialize. I also get Sanchez’ view on a potential Floyd Mayweather clash and if he thinks Floyd will be up for the challenge. Additionally Abel talks about his stable of fighters and shares his advice for young boxers coming into the sport. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: One of the big differences in Manny Pacquiao is the power, he was known as a power puncher and now he’s gone five years without a KO. Why do you think that is?
Abel Sanchez: I think that he’s gotten more cautious. I think that he doesn’t fight as reckless as he used to — he still makes a lot of mistakes and he still jumps in but he doesn’t fight as reckless as he did when he fought Barrera and Morales ten years ago. He’s more calculated and he’s not looking for the knockout. I don’t see Mayweather being a big puncher either but I see Mayweather being more accurate than Manny.
Jenna J: If Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao in such a way that doesn’t call for a rematch, do you think he would consider facing Gennady Golovkin as a future opponent?
Abel Sanchez: Floyd Mayweather is a heck of a businessman, he understands the economics I think better than a lot of promoters do and a lot of managers do. He knows how to market, he knows how to wait and not do things and get people upset but it ends up happening the way that he wants it to happen.
If Floyd decides that at the end of his career he still wants that legacy fight against a guy that he shouldn’t be in there with because he’s much bigger as people say, Floyd will do it. It’s more about him trying to prove something to himself and not to the public.
Jenna J: I want to talk about what’s next for Gennady Golovkin. Who out there do you see as a legitimate fight for Golovkin at this point?
Abel Sanchez: I think the fight in May is the only fight that would be in question right now because by the fall, there’s gonna be people available — whether they want to fight Golovkin or not, it’s up to you the media to ask the question, “Why not?”
The fight in May, there’s several options, maybe not the most attractive options for the public but we need to keep Gennady Golovkin busy. He’s 32 years old, he’ll be 33 by the time we fight again, so we need to keep him in the ring. We want to fight four times this year, and if the big names are not available, we’ll take whoever the next one in line is in the rankings.
To me there’s three or four names being bounced around on the internet, Willie Monroe, Tureano Johnson and a kid named Jorge Heiland from Argentina who’s number three in the WBC. If they get ranked and they get up, then they deserve a shot, they’ve worked for their opportunity and if they want to get in the ring, they deserve a shot because they’ve worked and climbed the ladder to their position to take a shot. If nobody else wants it, then it’s whoever is next on the ladder.
Jenna J: One fighter they did mention for Golovkin was Andre Ward. He was recently stripped of RING magazine super middleweight crown. Do you think we’re ever going to see Andre Ward back in the ring like we used to see him?
Abel Sanchez: I think Andre right now is trying to reassess his position and reassess his direction. When he was with Goossen and could not fight Golovkin, he kept calling Golovkin out, he kept mentioning Golovkin’s name. Now that he’s with Jay-Z and a big company, I’m surprised that they’re not targeting Golovkin like they were before.
When Ward couldn’t fight Golovkin, they were targeting him, now they can fight Golovkin and they got the opportunity and people behind, he hasn’t mentioned him. Ward has mentioned that he wants a couple of tune of tune up fights and maybe next year.
I’m more concerned with Golovkin’s direction and Golovkin’s activity than Andre Ward’s inactivity. He needs to fight those tune up fights that he’s talking about and then by the end of the year or next year, maybe that’s a name that gets mentioned again.
Jenna J: I want to talk a little about the stable of fighters you have right now. Can you tell us about the fighters you’re currently working with?
Abel Sanchez: Sullivan Barrera is gonna be fighting hopefully by the end of March or the beginning of April. He’s a 14-0 light heavyweight, he’s a very good prospect, now we just need to keep him busy and make sure that he develops in a way that the rest of them are developing.
I have a guy named Murat Gassiev, he’s a cruiserweight that’s 20-0 right now and he’s supposed to be fighting Yunier Dorticoson some time in April. I have a young man named Nadjib Mohammedi who is the number one contender for the Pascal-Kovalev winner, we’re fighting on March 14th in Canada on that same card.
Freddie Lawson fights Breidis Prescott on March the 26th down in Miami. I have some younger guys that don’t have that many fights that are continuously working in the gym and trying to get better to get to that level.
Jenna J: Being a trainer, what is the best advice you can give to a young fighter?
Abel Sanchez: Just be loyal to the craft, make sure you put in one hundred percent and you live your life in the gym as if the next fight is the last fight. Train as hard as you can because it could be the last fight.
There’s so many things that happen in this business, whether it be politically or physically that keeps a lot of fighters from reaching their potential. If you just make sure that you give everything you have in the ring and listen to whomever your coach is for that guidance and maturity and development, then you have the best chance to make it to the top.