By: Sean Crose
“I was a little disappointed in the efforts. It looked like one guy wasn’t ready to fight and he was glad the other guy wasn’t either.” So said famed trainer Abel Sanchez of last Saturday night’s Canelo Golovkin battle. It was the first time the Big Bear, California based cornerman hadn’t trained Golovkin for a Canelo fight. Suffice to say, Sanchez told Fight Hub he wasn’t impressed by his old pupil’s performance in the rubber match. “I just felt like Gennady’s first eight rounds were like hitting the mitts,” Sanchez said. “It was like two friends sparing with each other. Canelo was throwing punches with bad intentions and Gennady just was not aggressive enough to try to win the fight.”
The truth is that Saturday night represented the first time Canelo was actually able to dominate his arch rival in the ring. Many if not most thought the first fight between Canelo and Golovkin, which went down in 2017, should have been ruled in favor of Golovkin, though the judges ruled it a draw. The second fight, in which the judges gave Canelo the nod, was also razor thin. This past weekend in Las Vegas, however, the once feared Golovkin, looked old. Yet Sanchez indicated that pointing to Golovkin’s 40 years is partially a copout for his former protege’s performance.
“It seemed like he was just happy to be there,” Sanchez told Fight Hub, “and not so much trying to win but just trying to make sure he went twelve rounds and survive the twelve rounds and that’s not Gennady to me.” True enough, Golovkin earned his rep being a stalking machine, one that could well wear an opponent down before taking him out in brutal fistic fashion. “You try to win by being aggressive,” said Sanchez. “If you run out of gas, you run out of gas, but the other guy’s going to run out of gas too.”
Still, Sanchez made it clear Golovkin’s age couldn’t be completely ignored in regard to Saturday night. Yet he also felt Golovkin’s ring strategy was wide of the mark. “Yes and no,” he said of Golovkin’s age being a factor. “No because, since we parted, in his mind he’s tried to take on a different persona in the ring.” When Golovkin had Sanchez in his corner, the strategy was to win the fight one round at a time. “I wanted to win every round,” said Sanchez. “I wasn’t concerned with the fifth when it was the fourth. I was concerned with the fourth.”
“Yes,” Sanchez claimed, “it (age) did play a part because he is forty years old but…there’s a thing I like to say in the gym: I want you to act to have to react, not wait to react.” Perhaps Sanchez’ strategy wouldn’t have worked on Saturday, though there’s no doubt it one time helped Golovkin reach the top of the sport.
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