In part 2 of my interview with boxing trainer Abel Sanchez, I get his views on one of the most talked about match ups to never happen, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, and get his thoughts on what risk Pacquiao poses to Floyd. I also talk to Abel about the rise of light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, and how sparring sessions between Kovalev and Golovkin went in the past. Additionally Sanchez talks about the levels of Golovkin’s opposition, and possible Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez bouts. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Do you think Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather would be the most lucrative fight for Floyd?
Abel Sanchez: I think Manny being stopped in his last fight lost a lot of luster for that possible fight. I think Floyd is at the point now where his record is very important but accomplishments are much more important to him. Beating Manny now I don’t think does anything for Floyd, I don’t think it tickles him.
I think that Floyd is much more aware of the perception out there of who he is, then what people give him credit for. I think he wants to beat the best and I think beating Manny now is like he’s taking a step back.
Jenna: In your mind, do you think Pacquiao poses any danger to Floyd at all at this point?
Sanchez: No, even before, I thought it was an easy fight for Floyd. Manny’s speed and Manny’s movement and all that would be a little bit of a problem at the beginning of the fight but once the fight gets rolling, I think that Floyd is just too skilled for Manny, and Manny is too small. I think that the biggest problem is that Manny is just too small to pose any kind of threat to Floyd at this point.
Jenna: Sergey Kovalev has become one of the most feared fighters in the light heavyweight division, what are your thoughts on the fighter he has become?
Sanchez: Look at his style, that’s a style that was developed in my gym as Leo Santa Cruz was also. I had Sergey for 8 fights and 8 knock outs. I think when he left my gym, by my choice of course, I told him that he would be world champion.
I told him that he had the tools to be world champion, it was a matter of being focused and making sure everything that he did was towards that goal. I had no doubts, and if you ask him he’ll tell you the same thing that I told him, that he would be one of the best world champions, just like Gennady.
Jenna: You worked with both Gennady Golovkin and Kovalev at a certain point. Did they ever spar with each other?
Sanchez: Absolutely, that’s one of the reasons why I agreed to start training Sergey, because I thought that he could be sparring for Gennady.
Jenna: How did those sparring sessions go?
Sanchez: Actually Gennady was just a little too much for him. Gennady is too much for a lot of people, but Sergey is a very good fighter in his own right. He’s in a different weight division so I don’t think that’s ever gonna be an issue. I only sparred them 3 or 4 times because it just wasn’t good for Sergey.
Jenna: People say things about the competition that Golovkin is fighting not being the strongest. In 2014 how much are you looking to disprove that? To get him in with a champion or one of the top guys out there, like Quillin, Sturm or Murray?
Sanchez: Fortunately that’s not my job, I am just a coach. Tom Loeffler and the Hermann brothers are the ones that are having to struggle with that. But I think you have to take note that all those names that you mentioned have been offered the fight. They’ve been offered the fight and they have turned it down.
Daniel Geale has turned us down 3 times. Felix Sturm ran from Gennady for two years when he was the WBA regular champion, and vacated his title in order not to fight Gennady. The guy that they installed as an interim champion gave up his belt and moved to the WBO so he could go at Quillin, and avoided Golovkin.
Martin Murray has already turned us down 3 times also, he said he needed a couple tune up fights, even though he’s the interim champion and he’s entitled to the first crack at Gennady, he has turned us down and chose to go in a different way. He said on record that he needed a couple of fights before he could fight Gennady.
Peter Quillin keeps saying that the networks are keeping this fight from happening. Look, if you’re the best, you can find a way to fight and prove that you are the best. All we can do is continue to fight and keep him busy, and whoever steps up or whoever accepts the fight will be the next one in line. It’s not by our choosing that these guys are not in the ring with Gennady. It’s because we’ve been turned down.
Jenna: If you could pick one fight for Gennady Golovkin to be in by the end of the year, what fight would that be and how do you think it would go?
Sanchez: Well I think all the names that you mentioned would be ideal for him, just so that the general public that is asking for those fights can see that it’s not us, it’s them. I said a long time ago that 154 lbs there’s nobody that will go 12 rounds with Gennady, at 160 lbs there’s nobody that will go 12 rounds.
At 168 lbs there’s two possibilities, maybe three that would go 12 rounds with Gennady, and that would be: Andre Ward who’s a great technician, Carl Froch because he’s a long rangy kind of guy, and Julio Cesar Chavez who about the time they fight at 168 lbs, by the time the fight night comes, he will be 190. Those are the only three guys that I think are legitimate 12 round fights for Gennady.
Nobody at 154, nobody at 160 goes 12 rounds, so it’s a knock out. At 168, if we were to fight any of those three guys, I think Gennady beats them at a decision or stops them late. The fight that I would love to see before the end of the year would be a Chavez fight.
I don’t think that’s a possibility, but that’s my dream fight, I think that the styles mesh so good stylistically that fight would be a war and I think it would be really good for the public. Whether that happens and Chavez stays at 168 lbs, who knows, but I would really love to see that fight.
Jenna: Do you think the winner of Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto could be a possibility for Gennady before the end of the year?
Sanchez: I honestly don’t think so. I think Miguel is at the tail end of his career. I think Sergio wants to cash out with fights that he’s having with Cotto, if he happens to beat Cotto, I can see him fighting Canelo Alvarez. Only because I think that Martinez would rather fight a lower weight guy and make more money than take a chance on Golovkin.
He’s been doing a lot of talking that he’s concentrating on Cotto and then after that he will concentrate on Golovkin. I will be really surprised, but I think that’s the kind of fight that Golovkin would need to solidify the fact that he is the best middleweight in the world, or the linear middleweight champion of the world. Then he can either move up or go down and fight other guys. As a team, as the “GGG” team, what we are looking for is that marquee fight that determines the best middleweight in the world.