Abel Sanchez is widely regarded as one of the best trainers in the sport today and his work particularly with IBO/WBA middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, is getting him the most acclaim. Golovkin is coming off a dominant TKO11 win over tough contender Martin Murray, a performance that left many people wondering who out there can really challenge Golovokin.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Abel Sanchez, he speaks on Golovkin’s latest fight and why he believes the fight lasted so long. Abel also talks about the middleweight division and what challenges he sees out there that could be next. Additionally Sanchez shares his breakdown of boxing’s most anticipated fight, Mayweather-Pacquiao. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Gennady Golovkin recently had a very impressive eleventh round TKO win over Martin Murray, what did you think of his performance?
Abel Sanchez: I wanted rounds as much as he wanted rounds. Martin was very durable — I thought he took a couple rounds more of punishment than he needed to, but all in all I was not completely satisfied but I was satisfied with what Golovkin did.
Jenna J: Some people said that Golovkin should have continued working the body after he knocked Murray down twice. Do you think he should have?
Abel Sanchez: The reason that I wanted the rounds was so we could practice all the things we do in the gym. Some of the things that he was doing, some of the shots that he was throwing, there’s things that we’re practicing in the gym in the future for other guys.
I want a versatile fighter that can do a lot of different things. The body shot is an easy shot to throw, he can throw that in the gym as well as anybody but if you don’t practice the rest of the stuff in actual combat situations, we’re never gonna learn it.
Jenna J: You said that the rounds were good for Gennady, what did that tell the critics out there, besides the fact that he can go late?
Abel Sanchez: I wasn’t so much worried about the critics because there’s gonna be critics whether you win, lose or draw or look great or bad. I was more concerned with practicing some of the things that are done in the gym to improve your skills and to be able to deal with the elite fighters.
Martin Murray was a good fighter but he’s not what everybody considers an elite fighter, so when we get with those guys, I want to be able to have an arsenal that is good enough to deal with those guys. Martin Murray provided us a canvas to do that and I wanted Golovkin to practice some of the things that he doesn’t always get to practice.
Jenna J: Do you believe Martin Murray was the toughest opponent Golovkin has fought so far?
Abel Sanchez: I’m gonna say the most durable. I think the hardest puncher was Curtis Stevens, but he was the most durable. Murray took a lot of shots and he withstood it, but I thought the corner could have stopped it three or four rounds before that eleventh round stoppage because he was taking a lot of punishment.
Jenna J: What do you want to see next for Golovkin?
Abel Sanchez: I want to see what he wants to see and what that is, is a unification fight. I think that the public deserves it, boxing itself deserves it. Right now his main focus is the WBC title, that title is held by Cotto. I don’t know if Cotto will fight us this year, he’s mandated to fight us by the WBC, he’s got one optional which I think is supposed to happen on May or June and then after that he’s supposed to fight us.
At this point Cotto doesn’t have an opponent for May or June, so we’re ready and prepared to make some kind of arrangement and make some kind of concession so that we can fight him in June. He wants to fight on the Puerto Rican parade or the Puerto Rican day, we’re more than happy to accommodate.
Jenna J: How likely do think it is for Cotto to take the risk of fighting Golovkin?
Abel Sanchez: It may be a risk but it’s a risk fighting anybody. Anything can happen in boxing, you can get caught with a great shot and get cut and the fight is a different fight. Golovkin happens to be the top fighter right now but in the past it was other top fighters.
At any period of time, there’s gonna be a guy that challenges you or a guy that possesses a lot of danger but that’s what boxing is about and that’s what the greats have always done, fight the best so that they can at least determine who is number one at a particular weight and at a particular time.
Jenna J: One of the other champions that has said he’s willing to fight Golovkin is Andy Lee. How likely do you think it is for Andy Lee to fight Golovkin if he gets past Peter Quillin?
Abel Sanchez: Well if he gets past Quillin, I think it’s very likely that Andy will fight. Andy is a warrior, Andy understands the economics of boxing and boxing’s history that the best have to fight the best. He grew up with Emanuel Steward as a pro and I think Emanuel Steward may have had a lot of influence on that kind of thought. I would love to see a unification between Andy and Golovkin, that would be a great fight.
Jenna J: What did you think of Andy’s last performance in the ring against Matt Korobov?
Abel Sanchez: One thing that you have to understand is that anything can happen in this game if you get caught with a good shot. Matthew Korobov got a little tired by the third round and he got a little sloppy and Andy can punch.
Anybody that Andy hits with that right hook that’s not fully prepared to receive it is gonna go down and is gonna get hurt and Andy’s a good finisher. I’m not surprised but I’m surprised that Korobov got so tired by the third round. You could see he was breathing hard and was making a lot of mistakes.
Jenna J: How do you think Andy will do against Peter Quillin?
Abel Sanchez: That’s a good fight, Peter is an ex world champion with a lot of talent. I don’t think he’s been fighting enough or regularly to improve his skills but I see it as a fifty-fifty fight but he can’t make any mistakes with Andy Lee because Andy Lee will hit you and he will hurt you.
Quillin made a lot of mistakes in his previous fights, he can’t make those kinds of mistakes that he made with Gabriel Rosado against Andy Lee because if he does, he’ll be looking up at the lights.
Jenna J: I want to talk about the big fight that got announced, Mayweather-Pacquiao. You said that the fight wasn’t as appealing as it once was, what do you think now that it’s made?
Abel Sanchez: It’s still not appealing but I think it’s a fight that had to happen just because there’s so many people out there clamoring for it. I think five years ago it would have been an easier fight for Mayweather, I still think Mayweather wins now but it won’t be as easy as five years ago, but he still wins a decision.
I think Manny makes too many mistakes as he jumps in and Floyd’s a master, he’s the best in the world, he’s pound-for-pound the best in the world for a reason and he’s gonna make him pay for all those mistakes.
Jenna J: Some people are saying that Mayweather has shown more decline that Pacquiao has, especially in his last two fights. Do you see any of that?
Abel Sanchez: I see that he’s getting slower, I see that he’s more stationary but decline from 100%, say Mayweather’s declined 20% but Pacquiao was at 80% and he’s declined 10%. He’s still not as good as Mayweather, in my opinion. I think Mayweather is still the cream of the crop.