Trainer Abel Sanchez finally got the match he wanted when Gennady “GGG” Golovkin faced off against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September of 2017. Many fight fans were expecting a fight of the year type of match, but were given a tactical affair that saw Canelo move for a majority of the fight. The fight went the distance and was controversially scored a draw, with neither side happy with the scoring in the bout. Now, the rematch is set for May 5th and many hope this fight not only lives up to the hype but also does not disappoint with its result.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, I discuss with him the way the first fight played out and how he thinks Golovkin dealt with Canelo’s movement. Abel also talks about the chances Golovkin will show his age in the rematch and gives his thoughts on the only way he could see Golovkin losing. Additionally, Sanchez talks about the rematch going to the scorecards and if he thinks Golovkin needs a KO to win. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Abel, a lot of people were surprised by how much Canelo stayed away from Golovkin, how much he moved, do you think Golovkin will be more prepared for that this time, so that he can make the fight more decisive?
Abel Sanchez: He was prepared for that last time, he won. It would have been a more convincing win if Canelo had stopped a little bit. But remember, Golovkin has 350 amateur fights, he’s seen everything in the ring. Canelo surprised the fight fans after talking all that smack, he was a runner. Canelo turned into Floyd. McGregor turned Floyd into a Mexican and Golovkin turned Canelo into a Floyd.
It behooves Canelo — with as much talking as he’s doing this far away from the fight about his legacy and how he’s going to be remembered — to at least make it a fight. If he makes it a fight, who knows what can happen.
When Canelo sat down, he was effective in the first fight, he just didn’t do it because he knew he’d get knocked out. If he does it more, maybe we get the kind of fight that we were expecting, and maybe Canelo hits hard enough to hurt Golovkin, but you’re never going to find out by back pedaling and running. Canelo needs to do what he’s saying and then anything can happen, they are both big punchers and one shot can turn a fight around.
Jenna J: Being the fact that the fight was a draw, do you think Golovkin will feel pressure to score a knockout to prevent a controversial decision this time?
Abel Sanchez: No, I think that these guys are so experienced that they are not going to take unnecessarily chances, they are going to do what they think is necessary in their mind to win. We outside the ring see something different than they see. We’re going to implore them to do the things that we want them to do, but at the end of the day they are the ones inside the ring that are taking the chances. They are experienced enough to have an idea of where they’re at.
You’re not going to see one guy change dramatically from something he has done in the past. Canelo has fought a little differently in the past, he changed dramatically for this fight and he lost the fight. Golovkin has never been a Provodnikov or Brandon Rios who just goes out and throws caution to the wind, and neither is Canelo. So I don’t think we’re going to see something different.
Jenna J: One of the things Golden Boy banked on was if they held the fight off long enough, Golovkin may start showing signs of age. Going into the rematch, Golovkin will be 36 years old. What are the chances that we see Golovkin age a little bit?
Abel Sanchez: I don’t know, I’m not father time. In the gym I see the same things I saw before. Obviously we are training different than we did eight years ago because he is getting a little bit older, but until somebody really dominates him in a way that the speed is too much or the boxing is too much, then I’ll say he’s getting old. Until now, nobody has done that, Canelo didn’t do that. I will tell you this, I will be brutally honest when I see it in the gym or if I see it in a fight.
Jenna J: If somehow Golovkin loses the rematch, what would you say would be most attributed to that loss? Would you say it was age or improvements from Canelo?
Abel Sanchez: It all depends on how the fight goes. If he gets dominated completely, then we have to look at it realistically, but if he loses a nail-bitter and it’s close, then the business of boxing tends to do things that are beneficial to the sport.
I said three years ago that I thought this could be a trilogy, I thought it was that kind of fight. I’ve always though that it could be a trilogy, and our sport needs those kinds of rivalries. I think if we continue to feed the sport those kinds of top notch fights, I think we’re going to do well in 2018, as we did in 2017.