Abel Sanchez on Gennady Golovkin

By Robert Ecksel on October 9, 2015
Abel Sanchez on Gennady Golovkin
Less a translator than an explicator, Abel Sanchez doesn’t mince words. (Naoki Fukuda)

“The fans want to go back to those days where the guys just, with intelligence and with defensive skills, fight great fights…”

On Saturday, October 17, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, in a fight televised live on HBO PPV, Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs), from Los Angeles by way of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, who holds the WBA, IBO, and interim WBC middleweight titles, fights a rare unification bout against IBF World middleweight champion David Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs), from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

In anticipation of the bout, the fighters, their trainers and promoters met with the press via teleconference call. Golovkin is the undisputed star of the show. He may or may not be PPV worthy. That won’t be known until the numbers come in. But boxing is making a comeback of sorts and with Floyd Mayweather having retired, perhaps for all time or perhaps for now, and with Pacquiao focusing on his senate campaign, the focus has shifted to other fighters who might take their place and Triple G tops the list.

Golovkin smiles and punches with authority, but his English, through no fault of his own, is a work in progress. (My Kazakh is considerably worse.) He promises, as usual, a big drama show, and will likely deliver, as usual, a big drama show. But for those looking for a more technical analysis of him and his opponent, Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez is the man. Acting less as translator than explicator, Sanchez, in contrast to his fighter’s carefully crafted sentences, doesn’t mince words.

“I think it’s about time that promoters and managers and fighters put their records on the line, put their belt on the line, and the best fight the best,” he said. “We’re finally going to see the kind of fight that the fans have been waiting to see. We are looking forward to an explosive fight, for as long as it lasts.”

Lemieux’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, said fans are “salivating” in anticipation of this fight. It ought to be a donnybrook, but “salivating” may be pushing it, although I have no evidence of salivation one way or another.

Returning to earth, out-of-this-world Golovkin said, “I have great strength and I feel good. I’m ready for October 17th. I think we are ready for a good show, good event. This is a big deal. This is a big thing for us, for boxing fans, for people and for our sport of boxing.”

One of the good things about Golovkin, and there are many, is that he can be hit, which only encourages him to hit back harder.

“It’s important to point out that according to the HBO CompuBox system, Gennady is the third-best defensive fighter with 10 or more fights,” said Sanchez. “Ward, Canelo a lot of those guys are behind him, so when it comes to defense, I think he is pretty adept at it. We have worked on all of the aspects of training, just because we have a force in front of us. David Lemieux is a strong puncher and an aggressive come-forward fighter, so we want to make sure that we are ready for whatever David brings.”

Since he brought up the subject of Golovkin’s defense, Sanchez was asked if he deserves recognition for his defensive skills, as well as his punching prowess.

“It doesn’t really matter to me if he’s recognized for it or not,” he said, “as long as the fans enjoy his style of fighting. This fight has done well at the box office and his numbers on HBO have done well, hopefully the pay-per-view does well because of that, because of his style because of his aggressive style and David’s also. That’s what the fans want to see. The fans want to go back to those days, those yesterdays of great fights, where the guys just, with intelligence and with defensive skills, fight great fights and they sit in the middle of the ring and go at each other. I think that’s what this fight is going to represent, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

Golovkin was asked if Lemieux’s power concerns him.

“No, same power, same defense, same style,” said Triple G. “I think different style of boxing class, and boxing IQ. I think we both have great punch. David is strong, too. I know my power, so it’s not just power, just a little bit different class, you know, boxing class, timing, speed, discipline, and this is very important for us.”

Sanchez elaborated, “What he’s trying to say is I think he is the fighter in the fight. They both have power and speed and great knockout records but the IQ, the boxing IQ will be the difference, because I think he thinks that it’s a different class, and he will be able to get to David, because he will figure him out. But David can punch, so it’s not like it’s going to be an easy fight. Both of them have punching power, but the IQ is higher in the sense of boxing wise.”

The fact that Golovkin is undefeated and Lemieux has two losses cannot be overlooked, even though those defeats were four years ago

“Going back to the Rubio fight,” Sanchez said,” I think he was a young man of 22 or 23. Everybody was laying riches in front of him. I believe before that fight, they had an HBO special on him. They were touting him as the next big thing at 22 years old. I believe he was a little too young. He fought a guy who was very experienced. Rubio took all he had to throw for the first six rounds, and then tired him out and was able to put him away. That was inexperience on David’s part. The skills are still there. The punching power is still there. It’s just inexperience that made him lose that fight, in my opinion. He’s fought pretty good fighters in the last three or four fights. N’Dam was a world champion, went down a couple of times, but he’s a very difficult guy to fight. He beat Curtis Stevens. I witnessed that down in Santa Monica. He’s not a bad fighter. So David’s got fighters on his record that have done something, and the thing you can’t take away from David is he can punch. He proved that in the last three or four fights. If David lands a good punch and Gennady is not ready, maybe Gennady goes down. So we’re definitely looking for the best David Lemieux and the biggest punch.”

Golovkin said that he’s been working on his “Mexican style.” Sanchez was asked to explain.

“The Mexican style that we’re trying to develop with him is just a more of an entertaining style, a style that is reminiscent of fighters in the past, Duran, Gomez, Sanchez, Chavez and even Oscar’s fights of 15 years ago, where guys stood in the middle of the ring and went at each other and used their legs and gave the fans the kind of fight that they deserve for the money that they’re paying. It’s more of an entertaining, aggressive, American public type of fight.”

Someone brought up Andre Ward, who has mentioned Golovkin as a possible opponent, despite the disparity in their weights.

“I think every young fighter is calling out the older fighter, and when the older fighter gets it, the young fighter is calling him out,” Sanchez said. “At one point when Gennady was beginning, of course we were mentioning other names that were above us, but that’s just the nature of the beast. That’s something that has to be done so that your name is in print, but at this point it’s okay for Andre to call him out, but Andre needs to fight to be relevant. He needs to fight so the people don’t forget who he is.”

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Golovkin vs. Lemieux Preview



Gennady GGG Golovkin vs. David Lemieux, promo unification fight, October 17th 2015



Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux Super Promo! HD (Amazing)



Zeste [D] : Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Lemieux. [PROMO]



Gennady Golovkin vs David Lemieux Promo



Promo Golovkin - Lemieux/ Промо боя Головкин - Лемье 17 октября New York



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  1. Art 06:12am, 10/13/2015

    It is a great   fight   shall be !!

  2. Jise Alvarez 06:31pm, 10/12/2015

    If Gennady does not KO Lemieux in 7 rds.  then the fight will go to distance.. Decision   Gennady for majority   or it could be a draw.  but I bet on Gennady, he has the best trainer.

  3. No10Count 10:32pm, 10/11/2015

    This is the fight of the year?
    The only other fight close in regards of standings was Kovalev Vs Pascal.

    To bad all those DA’s who paid for FMJR Vs Paq wont but this PPV

  4. Koolz 02:46pm, 10/10/2015

    It is a fantastic card and i can’t wait!
    All Roads lead to GGG!

  5. Keith 11:15am, 10/09/2015

    I disagree with Bob.  GGG-Lemieux with Gonzales-Villora on the undercard is absolutely worthy of PPV.  Without Chocolotito, it would be a debatable point.

  6. Bob 01:12am, 10/09/2015

    Great fight, but not worthy of PPV. It will be fun for a few rounds before GGG drops the hammer.

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