(Photo by Jenna J) Abel Sanchez is nearing a historic run with his stables main fighter, IBO/WBA/WBC/IBF middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin. The pair have combined for 18 defenses together and have their eyes set at passing middleweight legend Bernard Hopkins’ mark of 20 defenses. Golovkin, now 34, hopes to unify all the belts in a June clash against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, an accomplishment that has not been done since Bernard Hopkins managed the feat in September 2004 against Oscar De La Hoya.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez I discuss what’s next for Golovkin and if he thinks Billy Joe Saunders will take the fight. Abel also talks about a possible fight with Saul “Canelo’ Alvarez and if he thinks Goldenboy promotions is making excuses for why the fight can’t happen. Additionally, Sanchez shares his thoughts on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor and if he thinks that fight could hurt the sport of boxing. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Abel let’s talk about what’s next for Gennady. Reports are that he is looking to fight Billy Joe Saunders in June, what fight do you think will be next?
Abel Sanchez: I would love to see Gennady do the Saunders fight because it’s been his goal talking to all of us to make sure he has the four belts, once he has the four belts we have a lot of different directions he can go in, so it’s important for us as a team to get that done.
Jenna J: Oscar De La Hoya has said that Canelo can’t fight in June being that he could get cut or hurt in the Chavez fight. Is this their way of saying they don’t want to negotiate for a fight with Golovkin?
Abel Sanchez: There’s a lot of ways to turn down a fight and that’s just another one of them. Eubank Sr. did a lot of those things too. The fight has been talked about for the past two years, the promoting of it has already been done. De La Hoya is just trying to make it as easy for himself when they decide not to do the fight, so he doesn’t get criticized. He’s posturing, he knows that is the fight that the public is looking for, and he knows that’s the best fight in boxing. Maybe the business of his company keeps him from finalizing the fight with Tom Loeffler.
Jenna J: Canelo has some work ahead of him, he has to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. What do you expect to see in that fight?
Abel Sanchez: That’s a tough fight, that’s not an easy fight for Canelo. I think Julio scares him a couple of times, he may drop Canelo or may hurt him. I still think Canelo wins, I think his youth and his hand speed and movement may give Julio troubles.
Jenna J: If Golovkin does fight in June, do you think he may not fight Billy Joe Saunders due to the fact that Saunders has been a very tough guy to negotiate with?
Abel Sanchez: I think from what I’m hearing from Loeffler and Frank Warren on social media, they are close to finalizing that. They are close to doing that because I think they are making it very feasible for Saunders to sign, because of the money that is involved.
Jenna J: If that fight does happen, how does it play out?
Abel Sanchez: I think Golovkin beats him. I don’t think Saunders will be as big and strong as Daniel Jacobs, and I think Golovkin stops him late in the fight, but it’s going to be a difficult fight. Saunders is a difficult fighter, a very mobile and elusive fighter, so it’s going to be a difficult fight.
Jenna J: There’s been a lot of talk about Floyd Mayweather fighting an MMA fighter. Do you think it’s bad for the sport if that fight happens?
Abel Sanchez: That’s bad for the sport of boxing because if that fight happens, Floyd Mayweather will be facing an amateur. McGregor is an amateur in the boxing game, it would be the same thing as when Ronda Rousey faced Holly Holm. Holly Holm had 39 professional boxing matches, there’s a difference in the sport. If McGregor and Floyd were going to fight in an MMA fight, then of course you would lean the other way. If it’s going to be a boxing match, it’s an insult to the fans to have that fight happen.
Jenna J: Do you think it would look bad on boxing because it would be a one sided affair?
Abel Sanchez: Yes it does and it will hurt Floyd, but Floyd will make where we’re picking on him because he took the fight where we don’t understand and that it’s a racial thing. He’ll make all kinds of excuses about it by doing it. I hope it doesn’t happen because it does hurt our sport, it does hurt boxing. I think we’re doing very well in boxing right now and that would be a slap in the face to our sport.