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Sanchez explains why Golovkin is fighting Rolls

Gennady Golovkin Abel Sanchez DAZN Golovkin vs. Rolls Steve Rolls


By Aragon Garcia: Former IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) and his management have been heavily criticized since the news announcement earlier this week of him facing little known 35-year-old fringe contender Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) on June 8th on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. This is Golovkin’s much anticipated debut on DAZN, but his opponent selection has been nothing short of underwhelming.

Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez was confronted on Friday and asked point blank WHY Gennady is fighting a 35-year-old fighter with no experience against quality opposition during his career. Sanchez came up with a number of excuses to explain why GGG is facing Rolls rather than one of the talented middleweights in the division. The excuses that were flying out of Sanchez’s mouth for why Golovkin is fighting Rolls made it seem like he was standing on a hot plate, and jumping about to keep from getting his feet burned. Sanchez wasn’t ready to take the heat for why Gennady is facing a non-elite level middleweight.


The excuses by Sanchez are as follows:

– DAZN is the one that wanted Steve Rolls for Golovkin

– Steve Rolls is a well “preserved” fighter at 35-years-old

– Fighters can’t face elite level fighters every time they fight. It could shorten their careers if they fought the best each time.

– I’m just the trainer. I don’t make the decisions on GGG’s opponents.


“Of course they do. It would be dumb not to,” Sanchez said to Fighthype when asked if DAZN is making their decision in making fights on their platform based on what their boxing viewers want to see. “They have to analyze what their fans want to see. I’m sure they’re doing research. They’re trying to put out what their subscribers are watching on their channel. Maybe that’s something HBO did wrong. HBO wasn’t paying attention to the people that were watching. If these networks don’t pay attention to that, they won’t be in business very long. These big contracts will go by the wayside,” Sanchez said.

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It’s difficult for the average fan to believe that it was DAZN that suggested that Golovkin fight Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) rather than his own management that made that decision. Why would DAZN want Golovin to take a low level fight that won’t bring in the subscribers that they need and want when they’re paying him nine figures for his three-year, six-fight contract with their platform. It doesn’t make sense. If anything, DAZN would want Golovkin to take on the very best each time he fights so that they can maximize the amount of subscribers they bring in. The Canadian Rolls is not someone that the U.S boxing fans are familiar with at all. Surely, Golovkin could have fought someone like WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, Hassan N’Dam or Maciej Sulecki. Any one of those fighters would have been perfectly reasonable choices for GGG’s name fight on June 8th, as those quality fighters that the American boxing fans would have liked to see Triple G fight. Rolls is far, far below those guys, both in experience and in talent. What’s strange is Rolls is older than those fighters, but he lacks their experience. If DAZN really did want Golovkin to fight Rolls instead of a talented middleweight, if true what Sanchez says, then the only explanation for that is the network platform wants GGG to be in a showcase fight to make him look like a star once again so that the fans are interested in seeing him fight. Golovkin hasn’t looked good since his second round knockout victory over Vanes Martirosyan last May, and that was against a junior middleweight that was brought in as a replacement opponent to face him on short notice.

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“I didn’t make that decision. DAZN was the one to make that decision to put that fight on,” said Sanchez when asked if he was the one that chose little known 35-year-old Canadian Steve Rolls for Golovkin to fight next on June 8 on DAZN. “I think that’s a question for the people that are making the fights…That’s not somebody that was on the radar obviously. Rocky Fielding wasn’t on anybodies’ radar either. He was knocked out in one round by Callum [Smith]. so if you sit back and look at Floyd Mayweather’s fights, he’d have one tough one and three easy ones,” Sanchez said in talking about Golovkin’s opponent Steve Roll’s advanced age.

Golovkin could have turned down the fight with Rolls obviously. The Kazakh star has enough cache to reject options when his management bring up certain names, but that obviously didn’t happen in the case of Rolls. Sanchez could have put in his own two cents to let Golovkin’s management know that it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to fight Rolls. Did Sanchez do that? It doesn’t sound like he did. He’s saying, “I didn’t make the decision” to pick Rolls.

“These guys, their careers would be extremely short if they were in difficult fights every time out,” Sanchez said. The fans can’t expect them to be in elite fights every time out. Hopkins is 50-years-old. I think today’s athletes are taking better care of themselves. I think today’s athletes aren’t as abused. Even at 35-years-old, today’s athletes are a little more preserved than yesterday’s. Middleweight is a little different from the light weights. At middleweight, they mature much later. When did he [Steve Rolls] start fighting? If he started fighting four years ago, then 35 isn’t bad. Joe Joyce is 33, and he’s had eight fights. Are you going to say he’s not ready for a title shot? You just don’t know,” Sanchez said.

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Here Sanchez is saying that Golovkin can’t take elite level fighters each time he fights because it might burn out his career. In the meantime, Saul Canelo Alvarez is fighting an elite level fighter in IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs on May 4. Before that, Canelo destroyed WBA World super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding in three rounds on December 15. Canelo isn’t shying away from fighting elite level fighters. Golovkin has only had three fights in his entire 14 year pro career against elite level fighters in his two bouts against Canelo Alvarez and his match against Jacobs. The rest of the guys Golovkin has fought hasn’t been elite level guys. So why would Triple G need a rest from fighting elite level fighters when 37 of his 40 pro fights have been against non-elite level guys?

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