Sanchez: Canelo vs. GGG @ 155 is an insult to all great warriors that fought at 160
By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Abel Sanchez thinks WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s interest in fighting Gennady GGG” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) at a catch-weight of 155lbs is a very disrespectful to the sport of boxing. Sanchez also thinks it is disrespectful to all the great warriors that have fought in the past in the normal weight classes without catch-weight handicaps to try to get an unfair edge against their opponents.
Sanchez feels that Canelo and Miguel Cotto is a couple of divas who have tried to put themselves ahead of the sport of boxing by gaming the system by using catch-weight handicaps to gain an edge over their opponents.
Canelo had catch-weight for his fight for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title five years ago in 2011 against welterweight Matthew Hatton.
“Gennady owns the 160lb title with the WBA, IBF and IBO,” Sanchez said to the knockout News. “Canelo just fought for the 160lb title, middleweight title. He didn’t fight for the 155lb title. Canelo has to make up his mind about what he wants to do. If he doesn’t want to fight Gennady at 160lbs, which is the maximum weight [for the middleweight division]. If he wants to make a fight, he can fight at 155lbs if he wants, but the maximum weight for the fight is 160lbs. He has to negotiate with Tom Loeffler and the Hermann brothers. We’ll see what’s going to happen. If not with Canelo and we get the [WBC] belt, then great. If we get Canelo in May and we have to fight at 158 for the title, it doesn’t matter,” Sanchez said.
The fact that Sanchez is already talking of giving into Canelo by mentioning 158lbs as a catch-weight handicap for him tells me that they’re ready to cave into the catch-weight idea for Golovkin’s title fight against the 25-year-old Canelo. If Sanchez was really willing to stand by his guns and be firm about not wanting to disrespect the warriors that fought for the 160lb titles in the past, then he’d say no to Golovkin fighting Canelo at a handicap catch-weight.
The World Boxing Council is supposed to be the one who will be putting their foot down about Canelo and his catch-weight handicap request for his mandatory title defense against Golovkin. If the WBC lets Canelo use handicap catch-weights in all of his title fights, then it’s going to have a huge change for the sport.
It’s unclear whether the other sanctioning bodies will follow the WBC’s lead in allowing their champions to use catch-weights for mandatory defenses, if that’s what they choose to let Canelo do, b but it would be sad if this is the start of something new. Can you imagine the power that champions would have if they could get all their challengers to agree to the catch-weight of their liking for all title fights? It would be pretty sad.
When asked what he thinks of Canelo saying that a fight against him for the WBC middleweight title would have to take place at 155lbs, Sanchez said ”I think it’s an insult to all the great warriors that fought at 160 pounds; all the Mexican fighters that fought at 154, fought in a division where they sacrificed their body. Canelo and Cotto have become somewhat of divas. They’re not bigger than the sport. The sport deserves that respect. Like I’ve said in the past, there is catch-weight fights if you’re not going to fight for a belt; you can fight at any weight you want. But when you’re going to fight for a belt, there is weight that is stipulated by not only history, but by some of the old warriors that have fought for those belts that fought at that particular weight. So, yeah, I think it’s kind of disrespectful for him [Canelo] to do that,” Sanchez said.
It would be nice if the WBC opted to stop all the catch-weight nonsense by saying that there’s no more catch-weights in fights that involve world titles. Sanchez has the right idea in saying that catch-weights are fine as long as a world title isn’t involved. But when a world title is involved, a catch-weight handicap taints the fight by making it look less than on the level. There are no catch-weight handicaps in the NFL, MLB or the NBA. There shouldn’t be catch-weights in title fights in my view.