The fighter that boxing fans can’t seem to stop talking about these days is hard hitting undefeated IBO/WBA middleweight champion, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. Golovkin has stopped 18 opponents in row, and has successfully defended his title belts 12 times. With his dominant success in the ring, boxing fans are now clamoring for a super fight between Golovkin and boxing’s pound for pound star, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
In part 1 of this special “On The Ropes” interview, I speak to the trainer of Golovkin, Abel Sanchez to discuss the future of his most prominent boxer. Abel gives his views on the recent stoppage of Marco Antonio Rubio and if he thinks there is any middleweight that can stand up to Golovkin in the ring. Additionally Sanchez talks about the recent Martin Murray fight announcement and the possibility of facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the future. Here is what Abel Sanchez has to say.
Jenna J: The last time we saw you working the corner for a fighter was with Gennady Golovkin as he took on Marco Antonio Rubio. The fight was a lot easier than people expected, what did you think of Golovkin’s performance?
Abel Sanchez: I thought he was a little tight at the beginning but once he came back to the corner and we instructed him on what we wanted him to do, he did very well. He’s a very patient fighter and it’s fun to watch him prepare things and set traps, and he did that exactly in the second round. I was very proud of him.
Jenna J: It seems that every fight that Gennady has, people think it will be his toughest challenge and each time he keeps handling things quite easily. What do you think of him handling these challenges without a problem?
Abel Sanchez: I said a long time ago that there was nobody at 154 or 160 that could go twelve rounds with him and I stand by that now. There is nobody at 160 that will go twelve rounds with him. We may have the bigger challenges at 168 in the future, there’s Froch, there’s Chavez, there’s Ward up at that level weight wise. Right now he’s cruising along with the 160’s and no one is giving him any problems.
Jenna J: Sergio Martinez is no longer the champion, Miguel Cotto is now the champion. Do you think that Miguel Cotto will ever take that risk to fight somebody like Golovkin?
Abel Sanchez: I doubt it very much that Miguel would step into the ring with Golovkin. He’s talking about Canelo, he’s talking about other fighters that are not even in GGG’s league, but that’s business and boxing has become a business so whatever is best for him business wise is what he’s gonna do.
Jenna J: Speaking of the business side, Canelo Alvarez made a move to HBO, which actually opens up the door to a potential fight with Golovkin. He says publicly that he would be willing to take that task, do you think he would?
Abel Sanchez: Everybody says that they’re willing to take that. We’ve made offers to just about everybody that was relevant a couple of fights ago in the middleweight division and nobody has stepped up.
I think if they really want to fight Golovkin, then if what we are offering or suggesting is not good enough, then they need to make Tom Loeffler an offer. Call Tom Loeffler and suggest a fight, make an offer and let us turn it down. Once we turn it down, then they can come back and say we don’t want to fight them.
Jenna J: You being the coach, is it frustrating to you to not see these big fights happen?
Abel Sanchez: No, it’s not frustrating. Gennady’s only been on the HBO scene and the American scene for just a little over two years — two years and a month — so we’re patient. As long as he stays busy and continues to learn and continues to improve and continues to destroy the guys that we put in front of him, eventually those guys are gonna run out of excuses.
He drew 9,400 people at the StubHub Center, I just read that his HBO viewer ship was over 1.3 million, so we’re doing what we need to do. As time goes on, those guys will run out of excuses like, “He’s not marketable enough, he doesn’t draw,” because it’s obvious that he’s doing all the things that they’re saying that he can’t do on a consistent basis.
Jenna J: It was recently announced that on February 21st, Gennady will return to HBO and it will be against Martin Murray. What kind of a threat do you think he poses to Golovkin?
Abel Sanchez: Before the fight, to me they’re all twelve round fights. He went twelve rounds with Sergio Martinez, so I have to assume that this guy is a legitimate threat. He’s got a good record, his only loss is against Sergio Martinez, so I have to assume that this guy is gonna pose a threat.
We’re gonna train for twelve round, we’re gonna train like this is the toughest guy we’ve ever fought and if he dispatches him quickly, then I think it says something about Golovkin and not so much about the rest of the guys.
Jenna J: When you talk to boxing fans, the fight that they want to see the most is no longer Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, they want to see Mayweather vs. Golovkin. What does that say about what Golovkin is doing right now?
Abel Sanchez: I think that Golovkin has been quoted as saying that his dream match is a match against Floyd Mayweather. I think the viewing public and the people that are paying for these things want to see a competitive match for Floyd and they feel that maybe Golovkin can give him that type of competitive match. I feel that would be one of the bigger fights to happen in a long, long time.
I think Golovkin is big enough to make Floyd fight a different fight that Maidana was not able to do. I don’t think Canelo lived up to what the Mexicans expected from Canelo when he fought Mayweather, so Golovkin is maybe the guy that they’re looking for to brand the best ever, as Floyd Mayweather keeps calling himself, to see if he is the best ever and who knows, he may be.
Jenna J: You said that no one from 154 to 160 would go twelve rounds with Golovkin. If Floyd steps up and fights at a catch weight, would that be the same case?
Abel Sanchez: Well that’s my opinion, I’m sure Floyd and Roger have a different opinion. I think that Gennady would stop him — I don’t think he would stop him like he did with Rubio, Floyd Mayweather is a heck of a fighter. Floyd Mayweather has proven that every time somebody speaks up, he shuts them up. He has 47 fights that he has won.
We can talk all we want but until he steps in the ropes and we have to deal with Floyd, we’ll find out. I am confident that Gennady stops him within twelve rounds, of course it’s gonna be a lot work, it’s gonna be difficult but I think that he does.