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GGG’s trainer: “Canelo just isn’t good enough for Golovkin”

Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin boxing photo

By Jeff Aranow: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has improved since Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez first met him 8 years ago when Canelo was only 19, but he’s still not good enough to beat GGG, says Sanchez. Canelo and Golovkin will be meeting up in a big fight in a little over 2 months from now on September 16 on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Canelo-Golovkin fight is supposed to be a fight for middleweight supremacy, but Sanchez doesn’t view the fight in having that much importance. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a definitely an important fight for Golovkin and for the boxing world, as it will show whether the Kazakhstan fighter GGG has the talent to beat a very popular fighter.

If Golovkin can beat Canelo, he will have effectively put him in his place. Sanchez already has analyzed Canelo’s talent and summed up what he’s capable of doing, and he feels he’s just not good enough to beat Golovkin. Sanchez sees Canelo as a fighter that should have 2 more losses on his record. Sanchez isn’t saying which fights he thinks Canelo should have lost, but it’s likely he believes he lost to Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout. Canelo also has a close and some would say controversial win over Miguel Cotto.

In Sanchez’s opinion, Golovkin has already beaten the number 2 middleweight in the division in Danny Jacobs in their fight on March 18 this year. Canelo is further down the pecking order below Jacobs. Sanchez doesn’t say how far down Canelo is, but it’s possible he might not even be the third best middleweight in the division. You have to realize that Jermall Charlo is now fighting at middleweight. There’s also Ryota Murata, a very well-schooled fighter with Olympic gold medal credentials. There are also talents like David Lemieux and Sergey Derevyanchenkothat in the middleweight mix.

Canelo has a lot to prove before he can show that he’s the guy that is ready to knock Golovkin off his throne and become the next ruler of the 160 lb. division. Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy were smart in waiting Golovkin out until he was 35 to make this fight. By waiting this long, it gives Canelo a chance to win. However, it doesn’t even for Canelo if he beats Golovkin. He would still need to defeat Jermall Charlo, Jacobs, Derevyanchenko, Lemieux, Tureano Johnson, Murata, Luis Arias and Murata. There’s a whole bunch of fighters that Canelo would need to fight. These guys aren’t fighters that Golden Boy can wait out until their 35 before they match Canelo against them.

“Absolutely, he’s grown. He’s a grown man now,” said Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez about Canelo having improved since he first saw him 8 years ago. “When I first saw him he was 19-years-old. Of course, he’s improved. He’s had some very good opponents, some very good fights. Some were questionable that he won, but still he’s a very good fighter,” said Sanchez.

Canelo and Golovkin sparred a number of times when Canelo was 19. Golovkin was 28-years-old at the time, and he didn’t go all out during the sparring sessions. However, there have been reports that Golovkin hurt Canelo during the sessions despite taking it easy on him. But that was a younger Canelo, and he might have improved enough to where he won’t be handled as easily by Golovkin at this point in the two fighter’s careers. You can’t say much about sparring.

Sanchez points out that the two fighters wore large gloves, and Golovkin isn’t the type that goes all out during his sparring sessions. That’s not the type of person he is. Golovkin uses the sparing sessions for learning purposes.

“I think the Floyd fight made him a better fighter, because he understood by that time what he needed to do to be able to be on these kinds of levels,” said Sanchez. ”But he’s just not good enough for Golovkin.”

When Sanchez says he doesn’t see Canelo as being “good enough for Golovkin,” I think he means it. Sanchez feels he’s got the better fighter of the two. Canelo is smaller, weaker and less experienced than Golovkin. Canelo is a small middleweight, who probably should be still fighting at 154. You can give Canelo credit for moving up to 160 to take on Golovkin, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s fighting a bigger, stronger and more experienced fighter in Triple G.

With Canelo’s lack of size, he’s going to need to try and depend on his boxing skills to win the fight, because he won’t be able to overpower Golovkin and beat him with size like he’s done with a number of welterweights that have moved up in weight to fight him. Golovkin won’t be using the training camp as a fat farm to get in shape. Canelo fought some guys recently that had to take off a lot of weight in order to fight him. I’m talking about Chavez Jr., Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland.

Canelo lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2013. Canelo tried to box a boxer, and he ended up paying for it in losing a wide 12 round decision. One judge scored it a draw, but it was a clear win for Mayweather. You can say that Canelo learned to become more of a boxer after the Mayweather fight. Canelo still focused on a slugging a lot in his fights since then. I don’t think Canelo was changed much for the better from that experience.

Canelo didn’t look improved in his fight against Lara, and he struggled against Amir Khan and Liam Smith. The only thing you can for sure is the judging seemed to help Canelo in his fight with Lara. Canelo looked like he lost that fight. Canelo had it easy in his fights with Khan, Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Those were not top level opposition.

Khan was probably more than a bottom 10 welterweight contender. Liam Smith was arguably the weak link among the junior middleweight champions. Smith was a champion in name only. Chavez Jr. looked he was too weak to fight from having lost so much weight to make the 164.5 weight limit for his catchweight fight against Canelo.

“Not really, because the sparring is with big gloves, helping each other,” said Sanchez when asked if there was something he took away from the sparring that he thinks GGG can use against Canelo in their fight on September 16. “Golovkin is not an abusive kind of guy in the gym. I’m not saying he took it easy on him, but he wasn’t going out on him. He was a young kid. There was no reason to. They were helping each other. The fights the fight. The Canelo today is a different fighter than the Canelo back then. Golovkin is a different fighter than he was back then,” said Sanchez.

Things are much different now than when Canelo and Golovkin sparred eight years ago. The gloves will be lighter, and both guys will be looking to take each other’s heads off. I don’t know whether Canelo will be trying to use his boxing skills to win or if he’ll try and knockout Golovkin like he did against Khan. I think it might be a really bad idea for Canelo to shot for a knockout on September 16 because it’ll put him in the line of fire of Golovkin’s big shots. Canelo has been hurt before by lesser punchers than Golovkin.

“I just look forward to a good fight for the fans, because it’s great for boxing,” said Sanchez about the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. “He’s 37, 38-0. Danny Jacobs will reign as the top middleweight after Golovkin after Golovkin leaves the division. He decisioned Jacobs. I think the people expect so much. People expect him to continue. He’s not Superman, but he keeps winning. So as long as he keeps winning, that’s what’s important to him,” said Sanchez.

There it is. Sanchez is saying that Jacobs, not Canelo, will be the guy that takes over the middleweight division after Golovkin moves up in weight. I think Sanchez is overlooking Jermall Charlo. I think he’s got a very good chance of becoming the next star in the middleweight division once Golovkin moves up in weight. Jacobs will need to prove himself against Charlo for him to take over as the guy at 160. There’s also Lemieux, who can’t count out due to his punching power, and Derevyanchenko. Those are all solid fighters that will give Jacobs and Canelo a lot of problems.

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