Sanchez: Canelo is killing himself to make weight to avoid Golovkin
By Dan Ambrose: IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez says he saw yesterday’s weigh-in for the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Amir Khan fight, and he thinks Canelo looked really thin at the 155lb catch-weight that Team Canelo insisted on for the fight. Sanchez thinks Canelo is literally killing himself to make 155lbs so that he can avoid fighting Golovkin, because he has no intention of draining down to fight the Mexican fighter at a catch-weight later this year.
If the Golovkin-Canelo fight is going to take place in 2016, then it’s going to have to be at a full weight for the middleweight division at 160lbs. If Canelo doesn’t want to do that, then he’ll need to give up his WBC title. That seems to be what Sanchez is expecting him to do. Golovkin says Canelo is “terrible” with his insistence on fighting at 155, and he thinks he doesn’t respect the sport.
“I thought he looked a little drawn,” said Sanchez to Fighthub about how Canelo looked at the weigh-in last Friday. “I thought he looked better when he fought Cotto, but he’s in for a fight. I think it’s going to be a good fight. I think Khan looks good. It’s just a matter of fighting his fight. I think the eight pounds makes a difference [for Amir]. Canelo does look drawn. What Canelo has been doing for a while is killing himself to make weight to stay away from Golovkin,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez is right. Canelo did look very drawn at the weigh-in last Friday in coming in at 155. The effort that Canelo must have had to go through to get down to 155 must have been difficult. If he rehydrates to 175 like some people think he’ll be doing tonight, then it could potentially hurt his performance against Khan by making him sluggish from having taken off and put back on that weight in a short period of time.
Even if Canelo is coming into the fight lighter tonight in the mid-160s instead of 175 or 180, he could have problems because he’ll have stripped off muscle during training camp. It’s never a good idea for a fighter to lose muscle to fight at a lighter weight when they’re accustomed to being heavier. We’ve seen fighters hurt themselves over and over again when they’ve taken weight off to fight lighter guys.
The only time it works for a fighter to move between weight classes is when the fighter is going up in weight like Khan is doing tonight. Khan looked very good at the weigh-in. The weight that he’s put on appears to fit his body well. It could be that Khan should have made the move up to middleweight or junior middleweight a long time ago because he looks stronger at this weight than he’s ever looked before.
“It’s not so much the muscle he’s putting on, it’s the fact that he doesn’t have to kill himself to make weight,” said Sanchez about Khan coming in heavier for the fight. “He’s a big guy. You can see he’s taller than Canelo. To have to kill himself to make weight and lose pounds, that effected a lot of things,” said Sanchez about Khan having had to take off weight to fight at 135 to 147. “When he was down at 135 and got knocked out by Breidis Prescott, I can’t imagine him making 135 watching him now at 155, but a lot of time that’s what happens. The ability to take a punch and the ability to do a lot of things in the ring is limited because of your weight loss. I think it’s going to be a good fight. He’s going to be persistent. If he follows the game plan laid down by Vigil [Hunter], I think he stands a chance. If he decides, which a lot of time happens to him, that he wants to be brave and wants to be a warrior, then it’s going to be trouble for him because Canelo’s a big guy. Whoever wins will fight Golovkin, I hope. The winner has to fight Golovkin regardless of what they’re saying about records or weight. The winner has to fight Golovkin at 160 pounds. If they choose not to, then that’s okay. We’ll go on with the WBC belt and defend against the next guy. What they’re saying now has no basis because it’s been mandated, it’s been ordered and they have 15 days. Hopefully that fight [Canelo vs. Khan] lives up to the billing. Hopefully the fight lives up to what I think is going to happen, and that’s Khan gives him a hard time and Canelo wins. Canelo should win. Tomorrow’s the eighth. He’s got 15 days to make up his mind, and we’ll go from there. I think he has until the 22nd. We’re here because we’re scouting whichever guy wins. Hopefully, we have a chance of fighting them. We’re here to see how they perform and how they do. We’ll see what kind of tactics Khan uses, and if he’s effective with it the same way,” said Sanchez.
Canelo might struggle tonight with the weight. He’s been taking off huge amounts of weight since 2013 to artificially keep himself in the 150s rather than doing what his body clearly needs him to do in moving up to 160. At some point it’s going to catch up to the Mexican star and it could be tonight against a speedy fast Khan, who will no doubt be making the 25-year-old Canelo use his feet to get around the ring. This isn’t going to be like the last fight that Canelo had against Miguel Cotto, who made it easy for Canelo by choosing to slug with him during many of the rounds.
Canelo took advantage of Cotto’s bad decision to punch with him by using his weight advantage, which appeared to be at least 15 to 20 pounds, to get the better of him. Cotto was landing a lot of shots, but they had no effect at all due to Canelo’s superior size in the ring. Cotto looked like he was fighting a light heavyweight, and there was no way that he was going to be able to budge Canelo an inch with his shots. The fight was won on Canelo’s weight advantage rather than his talent. Cotto looked like the more talented fighter, but talent only takes you so far when you’re fighting someone 15 to 20 pounds heavier than yourself.
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