By: Sean Crose
Speaking to FightHype at the WBC convention in Acapulco, famed trainer Abel Sanchez had a considerable bit of news to give. “I’m retired,” he said. ” Sold my gym and I’m completely out of it.” Yet the man who led Gennady Golovkin to become one of the most domineering forces in boxing isn’t out of the game entirely. “I want to stay in involved in this part of it,” Sanchez said, essentially stating he wants to remain in the fight game without training fighters. Sanchez was asked if he would become a commentator. “Maybe so,” he said. “I want to spend some time in my family fight now.”
He might not be a trainer anymore, but Sanchez clearly had things to say about old Golovkin foe Canelo Alvarez. Although Canelo handily defeated Golovkin recently in their third fight (Golovkin was no longer trained by Sanchez at the time, by the way) Canelo was himself defeated by the talented Dmitry Bivol last spring. Suffice to say, there’s talk of Canelo facing WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol in a rematch. Sanchez doesn’t think that’s the best course of action.
“In my opinion,” he said of Canelo, “he should just stay at 168. There’s a couple of young lions at that weight that would like an opportunity at him.” Sure enough, Canelo had to go up in weight to face Bivol at light heavyweight. And indeed, the man’s done quite well for himself at super middleweight. “I think that’s probably his best weight,” said Sanchez “One sixty is a good weight for him too, but 175s are a little to big for him.”
With all that being said, Sanchez admitted he’s been impressed with Bivol. “I have to give Bivol a lot of credit for what he’s done in the last two fights,” said Sanchez. “It’s a difficult fight for Canelo. Bivol’s a bigger guy. He’s a natural at that weight, and I think it would be a stretch for Canelo to beat him.” Not that he had anything bad to say about multi-divisional champion Canelo. To the contrary. “He ventured up,” Sanchez said in reference to Canelo jumping to light heavyweight in order to face Bivol, “and it was a little too big for him. I think that all great champions are like that, aspiring to move up and hopefully command those divisions.”
In other words, although he lost, Sanchez feels Canelo deserves credit for daring to be great. “He fought one of the best at that weight,” he said of Canelo’s jump to light heavyweight. “It would have been a difficult fight for Bivol if it had come down to 168 but at 175, I think that was the weight for him, and Canelo’s just too small.”
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