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Sanchez: Golovkin should be #1 P-4-P, not Ward or Kovalev

Andre Ward Gennady Golovkin Sergey Kovalev

By Allan Fox: For the time being, trainer Abel Sanchez believes that his fighter IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) should be the number one pound-for-pound fighter in boxing unless the winner of the Andre” SOG” Ward vs. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev fight on November 19 proves that they should take the top pound-for-pound honors.

Right now, Sanchez believes that Golovkin deserves the top spot, because of the way he’s dominated the middleweight division. Ward just recently moved up to super middleweight, and he has a lot to prove. Even if Ward beats Kovalev, there are dangerous fights against Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev that Ward would need to win before he could prove himself as the No.1 fighter in the 175lb division.

For Ward to be given the No.1 pound-for-pound classification before he’s proven himself as the best fighter in the 175lb division makes no sense. Ward needs to prove himself by running the gauntlet by beating Kovalev, Stevenson and Beterbiev in that order.

Sanchez said this to about WHY Golovkin should be the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter rather Ward or Kovalev:

“Golovkin, because he’s I don’t think you’ve ever seen anyone in any weight division in any era you can remember dominate a division like Golovkin is dominating right now. I’m not saying winning and beating. I’m saying ‘dominating a division.’ He’s making guys look like they’re chumps. So I think that has to be the criteria for pound-for-pound. That you’re winning is okay, but that your dominating has to be the main criteria. I don’t think you can name me one fighter that has done that in one division in any era. I think the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter should be determined by how the fight is fought on the 19th of November. If Andre [Ward] destroys Kovalev, then Andre hands down has to be No.1. If Kovalev destroys Ward, then hands down he’s got to be the No.1. But if he has a fight that is close, and it’s a boring fight and neither one of them does anything, then no. I don’t think either one of those guys deserve to be No.1. Again, I go back to my criteria, I said a little while ago. It’s how you dominate a division. It’s how you dominate your opponent.”

Golovkin is dominating the 160lb division in a way that Kovalev and Ward are not presently doing at 175. We just saw Kovalev struggle to beat Isaac Chilemba last July, and that was not anything comparable to how Golovkin has been dominating his opponents in the middleweight division. Ward, 32, only recently moved up to light heavyweight, and he’s been taking it easy in facing soft opposition since moving up. Ward has beaten Paul Smith, Sullivan Barrera and Alexander Brand.

Only Barrera is a 175llb fighter. Smith and Brand were selected by Ward’s promoters at Roc Nation Sports from the super middleweight division. Only Roc Nation knows why they’ve chosen to match Ward against two 168lb fighters after he officially moved up to light heavyweight. It’s probably not the smartest move for Roc Nation to have done that, because they’ve prevented Ward from getting the adequate preparation that he needs to beat Kovalev. Ward should have said no to the Paul Smith and Alexander Brand fights and insisted that his promoters find him light heavyweights rather than super middleweights to fight. After all, it’s Ward who will be inside the ring with light heavyweight champion Kovalev on November 19th, not his promoters. If Ward isn’t ready to take on a talented light heavyweight like Kovalev, then we’re going to find out in a real hurry.

When asked about a future fight between Golovkin and Ward, Sanchez said:
“If Ward beats Kovalev, maybe not in the immediate future, because Ward would have other bridges to cross. [Adonis] Stevenson is one of them. There are other guys in that weight class that are coming up. [Artur] Beterbiev is coming up. If Kovalev beats Ward and Ward says he was too big for him and he moves back down to 168, it’s a possibility [Golovkin vs. Ward]. It’s a fight that’s interesting regardless of what happens on the 19th.”

Even if Ward beats Kovalev, he’ll still have some big bridges to cross before he can face Golovkin. There will no doubt be a grueling rematch with Kovalev that Ward will need to get out of the way first. Ward will take a lot of punishment from Kovalev regardless of the outcome of that fight. If Ward wins a second fight with Kovalev, then he’ll need to face Adonis Stevenson for potentially two fights, and then face Artur Beterbiev.

Ward is probably looking at five to six tough fights at 175 before he can get free and clear to fight Golovkin in the future. With the way that Ward has slowed down in the last five years, I don’t think he’ll win those fights. It’s going to take at least two to three years for Ward to get the Kovalev, Stevenson and Beterbiev fights out of the way. So we’re logically talking about a 35-year-old Ward by the time he’s able to fight Golovkin. For his part, Golovkin still needs to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs, and Billy Joe Saunders. It’s still unclear whether Golovkin will get the Canelo fight. If Golovkin does get the fight next year with Canelo and beats him, there won’t be a rematch. Golden Boy Promotions won’t let their flagship fighter Canelo get beaten twice by Golovkin. Golovkin has fewer fights to get out of the way than Ward, and he has a much better chance of winning them than Ward does in winning his murderer’s row of punchers.

The chances are very high that the Ward vs. Kovaelv fight is going to be a boring affair with Ward holding and moving all night long. Ward might win, but it’s not going to be a pound-for-pound type of performance. I suspect it’ll be Ward at his best in showing off his grappling prowess. Ward is a very good wrestler, and I think it’s going to be tough for Kovalev to get his shots off with Ward holding and wrestling all night long.

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