Gennadiy Golovkin: Should he return to Abel Sanchez?
By Sean Jones: After two fights under the helm of trainer Johnathon Bank, Gennadiy Golovkin doesn’t look like he’s fighting at the same level as he did with former coach Abel Sanchez. For Golovkin, it’s now or never.
If he doesn’t get back with Sanchez to have him bring back the aggressive fighter that he was in the past, he’s going to be easy prey for Canelo Alvarez.
With IBF middleweight champion Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) having just turned 38 on April 8, he must get the most out of the remaining time that he has left in his professional career.
Golovkin could be facing his nemesis Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) in his next fight when boxing resets this year, and he must bring back his old aggressive style of fighting.
When Sanchez trained Golovkin, he had him always coming forward on seek and destroy missions in his contests. That style of fighting has disappeared since GGG began training with Banks, and he’s not looked good in his two fights against Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Steve Rolls.
Golovkin and Sanchez parted ways last year after having worked together for seven years. During that time, Golovkin only lost once, a controversial 12 round decision to Canelo in 2018. Most boxing fans scored the fight as a draw. The rest of them either saw it as a win for Canelo or a victory for GGG.
Will Golovkin get back with Sanchez?
“One thing I’m interested in [Abel Sanchez] is his relationship with Golovkin,” said Chris Mannix on his SI Illustratrated Boxing podcast. “Golovkin has a couple of fights left on his DAZN deal.
“His first two fights he had with Johnathon Banks, they were successful in terms of wins, but it’s not like he looked great in those two fights. Could you ever see a reconciliation between Sanchez and Golovkin?”
“Lance and I asked him that question, and he didn’t seem optimistic at all. He doesn’t see it in the cards,” said Mike Coppinger in talking about Sanchez returning as Golovkin’s trainer. “The divorce between those two was over money, and it was a bitter split. Golovkin put out a press release, and Abel wasn’t happy about it.
“But Abel did say he wishes Golovkin well, but he also said he’s afraid Golovkin could get hurt in a third fight with Canelo. So he thinks Golovkin is fighting with the wrong style right now trying to box off the back foot more, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s in the works. It would be a great story, though,” said Coppinger about GGG and Sanchez.
“Yeah, they had a lot of success, Lance,” said Mannix.
Getting back with Sanchez will cost Golovkin money, as he’ll want to be paid well. Whether Golovkin feels he needs Sanchez or not is the magic question. What’s clear, though, is if Golovkin loses to Canelo in their trilogy fight in September, his future paydays could take a big hit once his contract with DAZN is up. As such, Golovkin must beat Canelo this time, and he can’t do that if he’s going to be boxing off his back foot like we saw in their second fight.
Getting back with Sanchez could help Golovkin bring back the lost aggression that he previously had. One thing that Golovkin needs to do less of is the aerobic exercises. All that running that Golovkin did with Sanchez wasn’t conducive to his power. He needs to be sprinting on a track.
Golovkin should reunite with Abel Sanchez
“In my opinion, GGG has no choice but to reunite with Abel Sanchez,” said Lance Pugmire. “You need to dance with who brought you to this level of success, and Abel Sanchez knows GGG better than any trainer in the world would now GGG.
“GGG should swallow his pride, go back to Abel, pay him what he deserves, and that’s going to be his best opportunity at age 38 to defeat Canelo Alvarez after two very close outcomes. Abel is the one to continue to goad Canelo and look for a recipe to get Gennady’s attention to do exactly what they need to do to win this fight.”
Sanchez would likely be open to working with Golovkin again if he showed interest in bringing him back. Even if it costs Golovkin more money to have Sanchez back, he can back that back if he beats Canelo. After two fights, Golovkin knows what doesn’t work against Canelo. You’re not going to win a decision with the judges by jabbing him from the outside the way Golovkin did in the first fight.
In a perfect world, Golovkin SHOULD have gotten the decision in the first fight with Canelo when he boxed him, but it didn’t work in his favor. In their rematch in 2018, Golovkin gave ground and tried to box Canelo even more.
This resulted in the judges giving the fight to Canelo. In the third contest, Golovkin is going to have to take the fight to Canelo and go for the knockout. The way to beat Canelo is by constant pressure and by throwing lots of punches.
The Mexican star lacks the stamina to fight hard for a full three minutes of each round. In other words, Canelo needs his rest breaks. He’s not someone that can fight hard for a full round, and he never will be. Canelo lacks the cardiovascular system to fight that way.
Gennadiy MUST knockout Canelo
“And I think Gennady’s only route to victory is to pursue that knockout very ferociously,” said Pugmire. “Just let those hammers fly. If they land, they land. If he runs out of gas, and you tip your hat to Canelo. To me, that’s Gennadiy’s only option.”
“I definitely agree. I don’t see Golovkin out-boxing Canelo,” said Coppinger. “Canelo can box in a variety of ways. He showed that he could box off the back foot in the first fight against Golovkin.
“He was really effective at pressuring in the second fight, and I just don’t see that ability in Golovkin. That’s not a knock on him. He’s an excellent pressure fighter. He has to go and bring the fight to him, and I don’t think he’s going to knock Canelo out. Canelo has a great chin, but maybe he can outwork him.
“I see a lot of parallels of the third Pacquiao-Marquez fight and the third Canelo-Golovkin fight. I remember everyone was saying, this is finally going to be the time that Pacquiao knocks out Marquez and finishes him off once and for all.
“That was the fight that I thought Marquez definitely won and was robbed on the cards. They’re [Canelo and Golovkin] both coming off big layoffs. I’m picking Canelo, but I wouldn’t write Golovkin off just yet,” said Coppinger.
Golovkin needs to go all out for the knockout this time, and if he gets stopped, then so be it. At least by going all out, GGG will have a chance of winning. After two tries, he’s not going to beat Canelo by a decision. That’s not going to happen. Canelo means a lot to boxing, and it doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards for Golovkin to ever win a decision against him.
Is GGG on the decline at 38?
“When you look at Golovkin, do you see signs of age in Golovkin?” said Mannix. “I got back and forth on this. On one hand, I don’t see him as the terror we saw first make landfill back in 2011. On the other hand, the Steve Rolls fight he was coming off a fairly long layoff for him.
The [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko fight, he was sick that week. I know that’s an excuse some fighters make for a bad performances, but I remember him that week not looking great at all physically.
“How much do you think was circumstance, and how much is it that we’re seeing a real decline in Golovkin, who just turned 38?”
“Honestly, I see a decline,” said Pugmire about Golovkin. “Ever since we saw him against Daniel Jacobs, look from that point forward. He has not been the same scary, boogeyman GGG that he was. [Daniel] Jacobs kind of exposed him, and he could not take out Canelo in their first fight.
“I think Canelo entered that fight somewhat reluctantly. Clearly, he had problems with the pressure that Canelo brought him in the rematch, and he had a ton of problems with Derevyanchenko.
“Whether he was sick or not, like Deontay Wilder fight [against Tyson Fury]. We really don’t want to hear about excuses. You stepped into that ring, you should have been a better man than Derevyanchenko that night, and he was not. He gave him all he could handle, and he was lucky to get out of there with a victory.
“Gennadiy is clearly on the decline, and Canelo is sensing that, and that’s why Canelo jumped at taking this fight. Canelo is out to finish him, according to trainer Eddy Reynoso. And by doing that, Canelo can stamp himself as the face of boxing heading into this decade.”
Golovkin is on the decline just as Canelo is, but he still has that incredible power. GGG’s power hasn’t changed one bit. That’s why he’s got to improve his chances of beating Canelo by using his strength advance by throwing more punches.
In training camp, Golovkin should be attempting to average 80 to 100 punches thrown per round. Whereas before, Golovkin was throwing around 50 shots per round, he needs to up that by another double if he wants to wear down and stop Canelo.
Canelo wants to knockout Golovkin
“I think Canelo, part of that is he wants to knock him down and knock him out, but the other part is he didn’t want to give Golovkin that third fight because he knew how much it meant to Gennadiy Golovkin,” said Mannix.
“With all that drug talk, I think Canelo was so angry as a result of that, that was the biggest reason why we didn’t see that fight for the past year. I’m glad it’s happening, but it’s probably happening a little bit too late for it to be as competitive as I would have liked to have seen it be,” said Mannix.
It’s pretty evident that the main reason why Canelo is interested in fighting GGG now is because he wants to knockout him out. He had to have seen weakness in Golovkin from his last fight against Derevyanchenko last October, and now he’s going to try and take advantage of that.
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