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Sanchez says GGG will only fight Charlo if WBC orders it

Gennady Golovkin

By Jeff Aranow: Trainer Abel Sanchez says Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) hasn’t earned the right to a fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), and he won’t get a title shot unless the WBC orders the fight.

Sanchez wasn’t impressed with Charlo’s recent 4th round knockout win over #1 WBC Jorge Sebastian Heiland (29-5-2, 16 KOs) last Saturday night on the undercard of the Adrien “The Problem” Broner vs. Mikey Garcia card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Sanchez noted that Heiland had an injured leg for the entire fight, and he considered him not a quality fighter.

Sanchez sees Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders as more deserving of a fight against Triple G. Charlo is going to have to wait for a title shot, as far as Sanchez is concerned. The priority right now for Golovkin is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and then WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Sanchez hopes Golovkin will fight Canelo at least twice in a row. He doesn’t think Charlo is a fight that will come in between those two fights.

This doesn’t look good for Charlo. Canelo has already made it clear that he’s not going to fight him, considering that he’s made the decision not to fight for GGG’s WBC middleweight title. If Canelo beats Golovkin, then the WBC belt goes vacant. The WBC will probably give the belt to Charlo at that stage.

If Golovkin isn’t going to fight Charlo either, then he’ll be in the same situation Heiland was in when he was the No.1 ranked contender with the WBC for over a year. The difference is that Charlo is now the WBC mandatory. Heiland was never the mandatory, so he couldn’t push for his title shot.

It’s going to get interesting if the World Boxing Council orders Golovkin to fight Charlo within the next 12 months. It’s not likely that the WBC will get in the way of Golovkin and Canelo fighting each other twice or even three times in a row.

“Golovkin is going to fight in September,” said Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez o Dontae’s Boxing Nation. “Why would they? He hasn’t earned the fight,” said Sanchez about Charlo not having earned the right to fight Golovkin. “When you’re the mandatory, it’s 9 months. Why would Golovkin’s brain trust fight a guy that hasn’t earned the right? Second of all, he has nothing to bring to the table,” said Sanchez about Charlo.

Charlo has earned the fight to fight for the WBC middleweight title, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to get that shot quickly. Golovkin waited for close to 2 years before he could get the WBC title. Golovkin tried for ages to get a fight against Felix Sturm when he was the WBA champion. The World Boxing Association made Sturm the WBA Super World middleweight champion, and that meant he didn’t have to ever fight Golovkin. Charlo being the mandatory doesn’t mean he’ll get a fight against Golovkin at this stage.

Technically, Charlo IS the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s WBC belt, and he has earned the right to challenge for the title based on his win over Heiland. Sanchez might not like the way Charlo become the WBC mandatory by beating an injured Heiland, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is the mandatory. It’s up to the WBC whether they want to try and force Golovkin to fight Charlo. I don’t see the WBC doing that until sometime in 2018, and only after Golovkin has fought Canelo 2 to 3 times, and Billy Joe Saunders. Once those fights are out of the way, the WBC will likely order Golovkin to fight Charlo if he’s still the WBC champion. Canelo obviously isn’t going to fight Charlo. It’s a tough position to be in for Charlo, because he might not get a fight against either of those guys.

If Charlo is fighting on the Showtime network and Canelo and Golovkin on HBO, that might prevent him from ever fighting those guys. If their promoters decide that’s a good excuse for not fighting Charlo, then he’s stuck.

“There are a lot of middleweight fights out there that people are clamoring for,” said Sanchez. ”He’s going to wait a year for a fight. Who cares what the perception,” said Sanchez when told that the perception from boxing fans will be that Golovkin is ducking Charlo. “Perception brings no money in Golovkin’s bank or [bleep in the seats,” said Sanchez.

The good news is Sanchez isn’t the one that makes the fights for Golovkin. He’s not Golovkin’s promoter or his match-maker. Golovkin has Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions who decides with his other management who he fights. Charlo is probably more trouble than he’s worth right now. He’s got a lot of talent and punching power, but he’s young and still doesn’t have a large fan base. Charlo doesn’t have a large built in fan base like Canelo Alvarez does. It’s unclear whether he ever will be a huge name. The only way Charlo can become a star if for him to fight frequently and look good in beating the guys put in front of him.

“He’s 35-years-old. I think 3 or 4 more years at least,” said Sanchez in estimating how much time left Golovkin has in his boxing career before he retires. ”If Golovkin is dominant [against Canelo], he’s going after Saunders. That’s the belt that he wants.”

Sanchez is just guessing about how much time Golovkin has left in his career. If GGG gets knocked out or badly outpointed by Canelo, then it’s quite possible that his career won’t go on too much further. He might get a rematch with Canelo if he loses to him, but the rematch could go badly too for the Kazakhstan fighter. Golovkin-Canelo fighting each other again will largely depend on whether the fight is close and if it brings in big numbers on PPV.

If Triple G beats Canelo by a one-sided decision or if he knocks him out, then there probably will never be a second fight. Golden Boy Promotions won’t take the risk with their top money fighter Canelo by putting him back in with Golovkin. The chances are the two fighters will only face each other once.

“Charlo is nothing,” said Sanchez. “Charlo fought a bum. He’s got to earn the right to be a middleweight. Why doesn’t he fight [David] Lemieux? Saunders is a champion. I guess he’s more dangerous,” said Sanchez when asked if Charlo is more dangerous than Saunders. “Let’s see how Willie [Monroe Jr.] does against him. Let Charlo fight Eubank. Let Charlo fight Jacobs. Let Charlo fight Lemieux. Let Charlo fight Demetrius [Andrade], who wants to fight him. Now he’s going to sit on the shelf until someone’s ready. We didn’t sit on the shelf with Golovkin. We fought him 3 to 4 times per years,” said Sanchez.

Charlo probably wouldn’t be able to get a fight against Lemieux, Jacobs or Chris Eubank Jr. Golovkin and Saunders couldn’t even get a fight against Eubank Jr. Charlo won’t a fight against him without being a world champion. Eubank Jr. is being moved strategically right now, against guys that are mostly slow or weak.

Lemieux is someone that Golden Boy Promotions appear to be saving for Canelo. They probably won’t want to take risks with Lemieux by putting him in with Charlo and putting him in a teat that might not go well for him. Lemieux would definitely have chance of beating Charlo. We saw Heiland land some thudding shots on Charlo despite fighting with just one good leg. If Heiland could land easily, then Lemieux will definitely be able to make contact. I don’t care how good Charlo’s punching power is. If he gets hit flush by Lemieux, he’s going to get knocked out.

“If the WBC orders us, then he’s the mandatory,” said Sanchez about Charlo fighting Golovkin. “Until he’s forced, there’s no reason. Let’s go after the goal he’s set for himself,” said Sanchez.

It’s up to the WBC if they want to try and force Golovkin to fight Charlo before he’s finished fighting Canelo 2 to 3 times and before he fights Saunders in a unification fight. I don’t think the WBC is going to do that though. Golovkin is a popular champion in the boxing world. It makes the WBC look better if they have a well-known fighter that is popular with the fans as their champion.

Charlo has a long ways to go before he gets to where Golovkin is now. Charlo may never get to the point where Golovkin is at unless he starts fighting frequently and if he knocks out all of his opponents during a long period of time. Before Charlo fought last Saturday, he’d been out of the ring for 7 months. At best, we’re probably looking at Charlo fighting 2 times in 2017.

If Charlo could start fighting a minimum of 3 times and a maximum of 4 times per year, he’d build a large fan base in a short period of time within 3 to 4 years. That’s how long it took Golovkin to become a big name in the U.S, and that was with him fighting frequently and knocking everyone out. I don’t know if Charlo can fight frequently. He’s already shots that he can KO most of his opponents, but he’s not busy enough. He needs to fight frequently for him to build a fan base.

There are other things besides fighting that Charlo needs. He has to work on his image and become a little more relaxes in front of the camera, smile more, and joke with the media. Guys like Conor McGregor are so popular is because he’s not only a good fighter, but he’s saying outrageous things outside of the octagon, and joking a lot. Charlo would help his career if he could be more like McGregor.

“Daniel Jacobs is the second best middleweight in the world,” said Sanchez. “You tell me who beats him. After he accomplishes what he has to accomplish, that would be the next man,” said Sanchez in talking about Jacobs being a future opponent for GGG if he gets past Canelo and Saunders.

“Saunders or Willie will be in the next one or two moves. Who is Charlo? Charlo is nobody. He hasn’t earned the right to be mentioned in Golovkin’s name. He doesn’t matter. He hasn’t earned it. Jacobs and Saunders has,” said Sanchez.

I get the feeling that Sanchez speaks for Golovkin’s brain trust as well. I believe that they’re not interested in putting him in with Charlo anytime soon if ever. They see the money fights being against Canelo and then Billy Joe Saunders. After those fights are exhausted, Golovkin could face Jacobs again or he might move up in weight to the super middleweight division if there’s anyone for him to fight in that weight class. It might be a mistake for Golovkin to move to 168. He’s not a large middleweight.

Jacobs is a large middleweight, who could easily be fighting at super middleweight. If Golovkin moves up to 168, he’ll be fighting guys that will be rehydrating to close to 190. Golovkin could find himself giving away 15 to 20 pounds every time he fights. If there were superstars for Golovkin to fight in the super middleweight division, then it would be worth it for him to move up to that weight class. There’s no one in that division. Golovkin should stay at 160, and fight Jacobs at least one more time, and then look to fight whoever else emerges. Charlo might be more popular in a year or two. Some of the other middleweights could become popular like Ryota Murata and Sergey Derevyanchenko. Those would be potentially good fights for Golovkin if he stays at middleweight.

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