With Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently announcing the he will be facing Marcos Maidana on May 3rd, the question has again come up as to the chances that Mayweather will get his first defeat. Most feel that Maidana is just a smaller version of Canelo Alvarez and will not be much of a threat to boxing’s p4p #1 fighter. So if not Maidana, who poses the biggest threat to Floyd’s undefeated record?
I recently had a chance to speak with Abel Sanchez, trainer of IBO champ, Gennady Golovkin, to get his thoughts of the future of GGG. Besides discussing their last fight together, he talks about the prospect of facing middleweight contender, Andy Lee. Additionally Abel talked about Golovkin vs. Ward, a possible Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, and who he thinks is the only threat to Mayweather. Here is what Abel Sanchez had to say.
Jenna J: Gennady Golovkin recently won a bout via 7th round TKO against Osumanu Adama, what were your thoughts on the performance?
Abel Sanchez: You know, I thought he did real well. He fought a guy that was very durable and had gone 12 rounds with Daniel Geale and had fought some decent fighters in the past. He’s a guy that had never been down and never been stopped.
I was happy with what Gennady had done just because he was able to do a lot of the stuff we do in the gym. Sometimes we don’t get to practice because the fights end so quick, and this being 7 rounds, he got to practice some of that stuff.
Jenna: Rumors are that Gennady will be facing Andy Lee in his next fight. Golovkin actually fought him in the amateurs. Do you think he’ll take anything out of that fight and bring it to a professional fight, or does 10 years in between kind of erase any history?
Sanchez: I don’t think so. I think mentally he knows he’s beat him in the past but I think they both have matured as fighters and they both have developed different abilities from when they were amateurs.
Andy had a loss against Chavez, but he’s got a couple wins after that. He did spend a lot of time with Emanuel Steward, which I think is one of the best trainers ever. I know that he’s gonna be recalling a lot of the teachings from Emanuel when Gennady and him fight, and I think it’s gonna be a good fight.
Jenna: I spoke to Gennady on my show and he said that ideally after he cleans out the middleweight division, he’d be looking towards Andre Ward. You as his trainer, is it hard to keep him grounded in that sense, that it’s a big money fight for him, but to clean out the division first?
Sanchez: No, because he’s the type of fighter that comes to the gym and you’ll ask him a question and his patented answer is, “I don’t know, I honestly don’t. Ask my coach, ask my manager.” He’s concentrating on the fight in front of him and never really has talks about any other fights ahead of that.
If we do get Andre Ward it would be just because it’s the progression of things, he’s cleaned out the middleweight division as best as he can and that’s the next step, but he’s not the type of guy who you need to remind him of what’s in front of him so he doesn’t overlook opponents.
Jenna: As a trainer, when you look at a potential fight with Andre Ward, how do you think him and Golovkin match up stylistically?
Sanchez: I think that it’s a perfect match up as far as boxing is concerned. You have a very good technical fighter in Andre who really doesn’t expose himself too much, against a guy that has a fan favorite style that comes forward and wants to take your head off.
I think that in that fight, Gennady will have to be a little smarter, a little more cautious and plan the attack from round to round. I honestly think that Gennady will be just too big and strong for Andre.
Jenna: Most of Gennady’s opponents don’t make the distance, do you think that would be any different if Andre Ward steps in the ring with him?
Sanchez: No, I think Andre is a hell of a fighter and I think that it may be a late round fight, maybe even a decision, but I think Gennady’s strength and punching power will wear Andre down so Andre will have to fight back. I think at that point is where Gennady will have an advantage. I think it’s a perfect style match up to disprove whether Andre or disprove whether Gennady is the best in the world.
Jenna: Gennady said his dream fight would be a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, do you see any realistic scenario that Floyd would take that fight with Gennady Golovkin?
Sanchez: Well I think that Floyd is a businessman and I think that Floyd understands that there’s really nobody out there in the foreseeable future that garners the kind of money or even more money that he got against Canelo. There’s no name out there, no fighter out there that poses a threat.
The reason that he was able to sell the good PPV and sell it for as much as he did against Canelo was because I think people perceived Canelo as a legitimate threat. Nobody is out there except for Golovkin that may be able to drop to 154lbs. It’s impossible to consider even Bernard dropping down to 160lbs as it was suggested, or Andre refuses to drop down anything from 168.
The only real legitimate threat close to Floyd’s weight would be Gennady, and I think that Floyd being the businessman that he is, would see that and if at all possible it would be towards the end of his contract with Showtime and CBS.
Jenna: You believe Floyd would see Gennady as a threat, do you think Floyd would really take that threat, because a lot of people say that his record means everything. Do you see him looking at that fight as more risk than reward?
Sanchez: No, I honestly don’t think that Floyd sees anybody as a threat, I don’t think he sees Wladimir Klitschko as a threat. Floyd is that confident in his ability and he’s proven it. He’s 45-0 now, 45 people have tried and 45 people have failed. I don’t think he views anybody as a legitimate threat.
I think that he understands the task at hand and if he takes a fight it’s because he honestly thinks he can beat them. I think him being the businessman that he is, the threat maybe in other people’s eyes or in Roger’s eyes or his dad’s eyes will be legitimate but to Floyd it won’t be. Floyd will see that Gennady will represent the most lucrative fight out there.