Trainer Abel Sanchez is not only one of the best trainers in boxing, but he is also an avid fan of the sport. The sport has had its fair share of ups and downs, but recently has seen a lot of the fights fans want to be made, actually come together. Another such fight was recently announced, that being the highly anticipated rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
In part 3 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, I discuss with him some of the upcoming fights from the sport. Abel shares his thoughts on the impending returns of Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao. He also talks about how Manny Pacquiao would do against Crawford. Additionally, Sanchez shares his views on IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder, giving his views on their upcoming bouts and how a fight between the both of them would play out. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Terence Crawford is set to fight Jeff Horn, April 14th and Manny Pacquiao is rumored to return against Mike Alvardo at a later date. The intention seems to be to match the winners. Can Pacquiao beat a Crawford at this point?
Abel Sanchez: We’re going to see if he can when he fights Mike Alvarado. We’re going to see how much he has left, if he has anything. We saw a little bit different Manny Pacquiao fighting Jeff Horn — he wasn’t as dominant as he’s been in the past.
Then again, lets see how Jeff Horn does against Terence Crawford. If Horn does well against Terence Crawford, then maybe Jeff Horn was all that. I think a Manny Pacquiao-Terence Crawford fight is a heck of a fight and if it happens in 2018, it looks like it could be some kind of fight of the year.
Jenna J: At age 39, do you think it’s too much of a risk for Manny Pacquiao? Do you think it’s a fight that he needs to take?
Abel Sanchez: At his age, he needs those kinds of fights. Guys at that level don’t get motivated by fighting nobodies, they get motivated by fighting the best that’s out there, and the best that’s out there could prove to them that it’s time for them to go off into the sunset.
There’s no motivation to fight the guys that mean nothing. Terence Crawford means a lot to Manny Pacquiao as it does the other way around for Terence. Both of the guys are going to be very motivated, and Manny especially because he doesn’t want to go out yet, in his mind he has a lot more to prove.
Jenna J: Another fight that is being set up is a potential fight between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. Both have business ahead of them, but if both of them win their next fight, what kind of fight do you think we can expect between Wilder and Joshua?
Abel Sanchez: I fought Joseph Parker with Andy Ruiz. I had Andy Ruiz for just one training camp and in that one training camp we were able to go down to New Zealand and we lost by majority decision, but actually if you’re in New Zealand and you lose a majority decision, you didn’t lose the fight.
In one training camp I was able to get Andy Ruiz to the point where he could almost beat Joseph Parker. Parker has not improved that much to beat Anthony Joshua, I don’t think. Anthony Joshua being a gold medalist and the world champion that everybody looks to, other than Wilder. I think that Anthony Joshua should win the fight.
As far as the Wilder-Ortiz fight, I think that anybody that Wilder hits with that straight right hand is going to sleep for a week. Ortiz hasn’t looked very good in a couple of fights, could it be that he’s not the age that he’s saying that he is? Could it be that he’s a lot older? Some people are saying he’s ten years older. I don’t know but I do know that Wilder has a heck of a right hand and is getting better at boxing.
Wilder goes crazy at times when he hurts somebody and it looks very amateurish, but I think people focus too much on those particular moments when he gets somebody hurt and he acts like a fool, but before that to hurt them, he’s actually a decent boxer. Mark Breland is doing a heck of a job with Wilder.
I think Wilder beats Ortiz, but in the Wilder-Joshua fight, Wilder may have the advantage with punching power because we’ve seen Anthony Joshua hurt and we haven’t seen wilder hurt yet, and Wilder is a big rangy man who is going to hit you from the outside. I’ve had Murat Gassiev spar with Wilder and Wilder is very talented. If you ask me who I think will win that fight, I think that Wilder wins the fight because he drops Joshua and then maybe cruises to a decision.
Jenna J: What do you think boxing needs to do to top 2017? What fights do you think we need to see happen?
Abel Sanchez: I think that this cruiserweight tournament is starting things up great. We had Usyk and Briedis give us a terrific cruiserweight fight, and of course Gassiev and Dorticos was a terrific fight. My guys are fighting fights that are very fan friendly and very watchable, and then you talk about Wilder and Joshua fighting some significant opponents and maybe fighting themselves before the end of the year. I think 2018 is starting out real well and the middle looks real well, lets see how we can finish it at the end with some other great fights.