Boxing trainer, Abel Sanchez is the head corner-man of one of boxing’s biggest stars, IBO Middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin. Sanchez has seen Golovkin rise from promising contender, to one of the most feared fighters in the sport. Golovkin has won his last twenty fights by knockout and has managed to become a unified champion, winning the IBO, WBC, WBA and IBF belts. With this success, the trainer and fighter team now hope to see the biggest fight in boxing happen, Golovkin vs. Canelo.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, I discuss with him Saul Alvarez’s most recent bout against Amir Khan and his thoughts on Khan’s future after the devastating knockout defeat. Abel also shares his views on Canelo’s growth as a fighter and if he thinks Alvarez will take a fight with Gennady Golovkin. Additionally, Sanchez breaks down Golovkin’s recent fight against Dominic Wade and if he thinks ‘GGG’ is now a fighter other boxers fear. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Saul Alvarez recently fought Amir Khan, what were your thoughts on the fight?
Abel Sanchez: I thought Amir followed the game plan and did well for the first couple of rounds, he confused Canelo a little bit. As the rounds went on, it seemed like Canelo slowed the rhythm down, slowed the tempo down to set Amir up — he was hitting him with straight right hands to the body, he was setting up that shot that he hit him with. It was a good fight up until that point.
Jenna J: What did you make of success that Amir had in the figth? Does that show a weakness in Canelo’s game or is it just that Amir is a good boxer?
Abel Sanchez: Amir Khan’s a little bit faster, he’s a lighter weight guy so he’s a little bit faster, he has very good boxing skills. I thought Canelo took a couple of rounds to figure him out, but once he did, he got his timing down and it was easy to figure out what Amir was gonna do because of the talent of Canelo.
Jenna J: Do you think Amir will be able to recover from a KO loss like that?
Abel Sanchez: I think that he’s gonna rebound a lot better than if he had been beaten up for twelve rounds. I think he got caught with a good shot, Canelo hits hard and he’s bigger. Amir has been hit before like that and he has rebounded, so I don’t think there’s going to be any damage going forward, but I’m glad it was one punch and not twelve rounds.
Jenna J: Do you think the fight between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin will happen?
Abel Sanchez: They’re negotiating, and I hope that they can come to terms because I think as a fan, it’s a fight that we all want to see. We don’t want it to be something like the Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, but that’s up to the teams. When something does happen, I’m sure I’ll be notified. Tom Loeffler and Gennady are in a lot of meetings trying to get everything settled and if it does, we’ll be seeing a great fight on the 17th of September.
Jenna J: Did you see any type of weaknesses in Canelo in his last fight that you hadn’t seen before?
Abel Sanchez: I noticed that Canelo is growing into a very good fighter. He was in my gym about three and a half years ago and he’s a heck of a lot better now than he was then. Chepo Reynoso is doing a great job working with him.
I don’t think that a fight with Khan, who is a lot faster and smaller, can really show us anything as far as a weakness because he didn’t have anything to fear. Put him in there against a middleweight and I think we may see more discrepancies or inadequacies that he may have, but against Khan it was difficult because he had nothing to fear in there.
Jenna J: If the fight between Golovkin and Canelo does happen, how do you see Canelo doing against your fighter?
Abel Sanchez: I said in the past that no one from 154lbs to 168lbs would go twelve rounds with Gennady, but watching this Canelo, it gives me the sense that we may have one of those two and three time kind of series because he’s getting to be that good of a fighter. It could end up being a fight that’s in the latter part of the fight and somebody gets hurt or somebody goes down and they do it again for that reason. Canelo is developing very well.
Jenna J: Gennady stopped Dominic Wade in his last fight and a lot of people got the feeling that Wade went into the fight being scared. Did you get that feeling at all?
Abel Sanchez: I don’t believe he was scared of Golovkin, I believe he was scared of the situation. He had never been in a situation like that with sixteen thousand fans screaming Golovkin’s name, I think that may have put him out of sorts. Every fighter who steps through the ropes is not afraid, they have butterflies but they are warriors, they’re not afraid to do what they got to do. Maybe the situation confused him a little bit and befuddled him a little bit, but I don’t think he was scared.
Jenna J: Do you think Gennady Golovkin is getting a Mike Tyson like mystique, where opponents do feel a little bit of fear going into the ring with him?
Abel Sanchez: Oh absolutely, but I’m not gonna say it’s fear but respect for what he’s done and also think of who he’s knocked out and how he’s knocked them out. Of course that gives Golovkin a little edge because these guys are a little weary of doing the things that they want to do, not because they’re scared but just because they know what has happened in the past. Wade was 18-0 and he was our mandatory contender, so we had no choice but to fight him, but I think that he’s going to be back and I think he’s going to do well.