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Golovkin #1 pound-for-pound, not Andre Ward says Sanchez

Andre Ward Gennady Golovkin Sergey Kovalev


By Dan Ambrose: Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez saw last Saturday’s fight between IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, and he feels that the three judges gave the victory to the wrong fighter. As far as Sanchez is concerned, Kovalev won that fight. Ward’s win over Kovalev has moved him from No.4 to No.2 in the pound-for-pound ratings.

Ward is still behind #1 Roman Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs) despite his fight with Kovalev being labeled ‘pound for pound’ by the promoters for the card. It looks like Ring Magazine didn’t buy into it to give the top spot to Ward his less than stellar showing against Kovalev. Golovkin got demoted from No.3 to No.4 after last Saturday’s Kovalev-Ward fight instead of being pushed up the ratings like he probably should have.

As bad as Kovalev and Ward both fought, they both should have been pushed down a few places in the pound for pound ratings. If anyone was to be moved up in the ratings, Golovkin should have been the one in my opinion.

Sanchez thinks the Kovalev-Ward match was a close fight, but definitely a fight that should have been won by Kovalev rather than Ward. Moreover, Sanchez says that Golovkin should be the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, not Ward. Sanchez laughed at the idea of Ward being the pound for pound No.1 fighter after his win over Kovalev.

Sanchez believes that the unbeaten Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) should be the top #1 guy in the sport. I think a lot of fans would agree with Sanchez. Golovkin is looking a lot better right now than Ward. Golovkin never had a fight in which he barely won, and had to hold and run all night like Ward did.

Golovkin leaves no doubt in his fights that the better fighter is because he knocks everyone out. Only three guys have made it the full distance with Golovkin during his career, and all three of those fights were one-sided matches. They weren’t controversial decisions like the one we saw last Saturday night involving Ward and Kovalev.

“That fight wasn’t a pound for pound fight, come on,” said Sanchez.

When asked who the top pound for pound fighter is in boxing, Sanchez said, “Gennady Golovkin is. I think the scorecards [for Kovalev vs. Ward] should have been the other way, but one round could have made a difference. One round either way DID make a difference. It was a good fight. The fans enjoyed a good fight. Andre recovered from a shaky start and on the fight. I thought Kovalev won the fight, but it was a close enough fight that one round could have made the difference. Andre recovered from a shaky start. It seemed like Kovalev got a little winded towards the end. His punches weren’t as effective, and his punches were a little flat,” said Sanchez.

With the way that Ward fought against Kovalev, I don’t think Ward deserves to be No.1 pound on the pound for pound ratings. Ward is currently No.4. Sanchez is right. Golovkin does deserve to be the top fighter in the pound for pound ratings. WBC super flyweight Roman Gonzalez

When asked if he was impressed with Ward, Sanchez said, “No, he was a little slower. He won the fight. He did what he needed to do. The corner did the job of making sure that Andre didn’t get out of control when he got knocked down. He had a couple of rough rounds at the beginning. I think Vrgil [Hunter] did a great job in his corner trying to keep him to just keep to his game plan.”

Here’s the current pound for pound ratings from Ring Magazine as of November 21:

1. Roman Gonzalez

2. Andre Ward

3. Sergey Kovalev

4. Gennady Golovkin

5. Terence Crawford

6. Guillermo Rigondeaux

7. Vasyl Lomachenko

8. Saul Canelo Alvarez

9. Shinsuke Yamanaka

10. Carl Frampton

I’m sorry, but those ratings seem backwards to me. I have my own improved ratings that are more accurate in my book:

1. Gennady Golovkin

2. Roman Gonzalez

3. Guillermo Rigondeaux

4. Vasyl Lomachenko

5. Terence Crawford

6. Carl Frampton

7. Andre Ward

8. Sergey Kovalev

9. Shinsuke Yamanaka

10. Saul Canelo Alvarez

I think Golovkin deserves the No.1 spot right now in the pound for pound ratings based on his 23 consecutive knockouts, and the fact that none of his fights during his entire 10-year pro career have ever been a close one. Roman Gonzalez is coming off of a close win over Carlos Cuadras last summer in a fight that could have gone the other way. Just based on that fight alone, I think that Gonzalez should lose his top spot to Golovkin in the pound for pound ratings. But even though it was a close fight, Gonzalez looked infinitely better than Ward and Kovalev. Those guys stunk out the joint last Saturday night in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ward held and run most of the fight.

Kovalev couldn’t do anything after the knockdown in the 2nd round. Kovalev still looked like the better fighter of the two, but he wasn’t impressive, and he did seem to get tired in the last half of the fight. Kovalev did enough to deserve the victory, but he didn’t do enough to keep his previous raking in the pound for pound list in my estimation.

Golovkin probably will need a win over Canelo to push him up to the top spot in the pound for pound ratings. Just when that fight will happen is anyone’s guess. Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions could keep Golovkin waiting for as long as they wish. I wouldn’t be surprised if boxing fans are still talking about the Canelo-Golovkin fight needing to happen in 2018.

If Golovkin looks great in 2017, then I see Canelo being steered clear of him for another year or two. I think Golden Boy is going to make an appraisal of Golovkin’s ability on a year by year basis. If Golovkin is still looking good and fighting good at age 35 in 2017, then I see Golden Boy pushing the fight to 2018. I then see them doing another appraisal at that time, and potentially pushing the fight to 2019.


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