Abel Sanchez and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin are coming off of their closest fight together after Daniel Jacobs took the match to the full twelve round distance and made the bout a close scored contest. Jacobs, who was listed by some bookies as a 8-1 underdog, got knocked down early and came back strong and had success late in the fight. With the win, Golovkin moves a step closer to the super fight the boxing world wants to see, Canelo vs. Golovkin.
In part 1 of my special “On The Ropes” interview with Abel Sanchez, I discuss with him in detail Gennady Golovkin’s recent bout over Daniel Jacobs. Sanchez shares his thoughts going into the fight and if he was surprised that Jacob’s came back stronger after the Knockdown. Additionally, Abel talks about Jacobs’ weight, the scoring for the fight and if he had any worries when the decision was being read. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: You had a victory with Gennady Golovkin as he defeated Daniel Jacobs. What did you think of the performance from that weekend?
Abel Sanchez: I had four kids fight that weekend and we were successful in all four. I thought that Daniel Jacobs fought a great fight, Golovkin was able to beat him, so I thought it was a good night for all of us.
Jenna J: Can you tell us a little about the other fighters you worked with on that fight week?
Abel Sanchez: The night before at the theater at the Garden, I had Alex Saucedo fight Johnny Garcia and he stopped him in the third round. I had Ryan Martin, who I didn’t work the corner with, but he trains in my gym and I work with him in my gym. Martin fought the first fight on the pay-per-view show and I thought he did really well, I think he stopped the kid in the sixth or seventh round. Then of course, Gennady did very well in the main event.
Jenna J: As a trainer, is it distracting knowing that you have to take more then one fighter into the ring in the same weekend? Is it hard to concentrate on the main guy when you’re working with so many other guys?
Abel Sanchez: No, it’s not because by the week before the fight we’ve done everything we’re going to do as far as preparation. We are not doing anything there other than maybe doing the treadmill and watching our weight. I didn’t work Ryan Martin’s fight because I don’t like a fight close to Gennady’s fights because I’m concentrating on Gennady and making sure everything goes well with the big guy in our gym.
Jenna J: The fight with Daniel Jacobs went twelve rounds, which a lot of people didn’t expect. Were you surprised by that at all?
Abel Sanchez: Absolutely not, I said before the fight that I thought Danny was a very good fighter. I didn’t think the knockout by Pirog was something that I needed to think was going to happen with us. Jacobs wanted to get up and the referee wouldn’t let him in the Pirog fight, so I knew that Daniel was a very good fighter. The fact that he went out to Oakland to train at Virgil Hunter’s gym and really concentrate on the task at hand, showed that he was well prepared and he gave us the toughest fight of Gennady’s career, but I anticipated that.
Jenna J: Early in that fight when Gennady knocked Jacobs down, did you think that it was going to be an early night or did you think Jacobs wasn’t hurt that bad?
Abel Sanchez: Even if he had been hurt, I think that Daniel’s resolve to make sure that he put on a good showing and made sure that he had a chance to win a fight was going to keep him in the fight regardless of what Golovkin did. We were going to win the fight because we fought a better fight and we did the things necessary to get the rounds. I thought that Golovkin may have been able to wear him down late in the fight, but it didn’t happen, and credit to Daniel and to Andre Rozier for having him as prepared as he did.
Jenna J: Jacobs had a better second half of the fight, do you think that was due to him gaining confidence in the fight or maybe Golovkin letting his foot off the pedal a little?
Abel Sanchez: No, I think both. I think that once Daniel got knocked down, he realized that he was in the fight and that he belonged there and because of that, his resolve was to make sure he wasn’t going to get dropped again. He didn’t really fight as I thought he would, in the trenches, but he did what he needed to do. He moved, he boxed, he punched. He tried to do what his gameplan was, it just wasn’t enough. I anticipated him staying strong the whole fight because he had a great training camp.
Jenna J: Some people think that Jacobs may have come into the fight at 180lbs due to him skipping the second weigh in and that may have allowed him to be more durable. Do you think that played a factor in the fight?
Abel Sanchez: Everybody that Gennady fights is bigger than him. Gennady doesn’t gain that much weight between the weigh in and fight night, so they’re going to be bigger than him. If that were the case, kudos to Danny and his team for doing that so that he did have a little more weight. I think Daniel’s technique and his preparation is what kept him in the fight.
Jenna J: When it came to the decision, did you have any doubts that Golovkin had done enough to win?
Abel Sanchez: No, I think the fight was 8-4. I spoke to Michael Woods after the fight and that’s exactly what he had it scored. I thought it was 8-4 including the knockdown, so I was confident that he had done enough to with the fight.