By Barry Holbrook: The old trainer for Gennadiy Golovkin, Abel Sanchez, predicts him having issues with making weight for a catchweight fight against Manny Pacquiao if he agrees to face him at 154 pounds rather than 160.
Sanchez believes that the 38-year-old Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) would be sluggish at 154, and he might have difficulties with the hand speed of the still blazing fast Pacquiao.
With that said, Sanchez predicts that Golovkin would begin imposing his size and power and wind up hurting the 41-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
Freddie Roach doesn’t want Pacquiao to fight Golovkin
At this point, Pacquiao vs. Golovkin is a fight that isn’t in the planning stages yet. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach casually mentioned in a recent interview with DAZN that Manny might be interested in facing Golovkin rather than Mikey Garcia.
That’s the fighter that Roach prefers that Pacquiao defend his WBA 147-pound title against next. However, there’s not much interest from boxing fans in a Pacquiao vs. Mikey fight.
The former four-division world champion Mikey (40-1, 30 KOs) has fought only twice at 147, and he was embarrassed by Errol Spence Jr last year in a one-sided rout. Although Mikey came back in his second fight at welterweight and defeated second-tier fighter Jessie Vargas, it didn’t impressive boxing fans.
Fans wanted to see Mikey face a relevant contender, not a fighter whose care bottomed out 1,500 yesterdays ago in Vargas. Mikey looks like a fish out of the water at 147, and it’s not surprising that his promoter Eddie Hearn put him in with a non-relevant welterweight in Vargas instead of one of the top guys in this era.
Mikey would likely flounder if he were put in with someone like Yordenis Ugas, Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia, and Shawn Porter. The list could go on 20 deep in naming guys that would likely beat Mikey at 147. He’s not a welterweight, and it’s disappointing that Roach wants Pacquiao to fight him next.
Golovkin would have a difficult time making 154
“Manny Pacquiao is at the point where he really does not need any of the young champions [at 147], so that is a big step [in taking on Golovkin],” Sanchez told World Boxing News.
“I think it would be difficult to make the weight comfortably. And if there is a rehydration limit, that makes it more difficult for Golovkin,” Sanchez said on Gennadiy likely struggling in going down to 154.
Golovkin said in the past that he would go down to 154 for fights against either Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr, but that was many years ago. GGG said that back when he was younger, and not super-wealthy like he is now.
Golovkin has made a lot of money with his two fights against Canelo Alvarez, and he recently signed a lucrative eight-figure contract with DAZN. He’s used up two matches on the deal already, beating an unknown 35-year-old guy named Steve Rolls and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin is now poised to face another unknown guy in Kamil Szeremeta, so it’s clear that DAZN isn’t putting pressure on him to face elite-level opposition. With Golovkin not needing to face good opposition to make money, he doesn’t need a guy like Pacquiao to make good money.
For the average person, they would be willing to drain down to 154 to fight Pacquiao to make the considerable money they would get from that fight, but they’re not in the same position GGG is in with him having accumulated a fortune from his Canelo matches and his DAZN contract.
Once a fighter becomes wealthy, you can argue that it erodes their ambition in a lot of cases, and they’re no longer willing to do the hard work or take risks to cement their legacy. That’s why you have to respect guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Pacquiao, and Anthony Joshua.
GGG would have problems with Pacquiao’s speed
“Having to drain himself to make 154. Plus being drained and sluggish because of weight loss, could that be a problem and with Manny’s hand speed?” said Sanchez.
Golovkin would have problems with Pacquiao’s speed, combination punching, and his movement. We saw in GGG’s performance against welterweight Kell Brook in 2016, he’s not fast enough to deal with quickness the versatility of talented welterweights.
Golovkin was in the prime of his career when he fought Brook four years ago, and he still was getting schooled by him through the first four rounds of that contest. If not for Brook suffering a broken orbital bone in his left eye, he might have won.
Golovkin looked past his prime in his last fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October, and he lucky to get the nod by the judges. They scored it 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113 in giving him a controversial 12 round unanimous decision. However, that’s a match that left a lot of boxing fans shaking their heads afterward in disagreement with Golovkin getting his hand raised. The fans thought Derevyanchenko deserved the win.
What a lot of people don’t like is the fact Golovkin isn’t offering to run it back against Derevyanchenko to clear up the controversy of the decision. GGG complained nonstop after his 12 round draw against Canelo in 2017, feeling that he should have won the fight, and wanting a rematch.
Canelo took the high road and gave GGG a rematch rather than letting him stew in his own bitterness, but we’re not seeing Golovkin do the same thing with Derevyanchenko.
Pacquiao will get hurt by Golovkin says, Sanchez
“Manny Pacquiao is a small fighter. I believe he started as a flyweight, so the size difference would make a difference,” Sanchez said on the 5’10 1/2″ Golovkin being too big for the 5’6″ Manny .
“I see Manny having his moments early in the fight, but Gennadiy Golovkin is no Margarito. Golovkin will hurt Manny,” said Sanchez.
No one is comparing Golovkin with the long-armed 5’11” Antonio Margarito (41-8, 27 KOs), who Pacquiao beat easily by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2010. Although Golovkin is close to the same height as Margarito, he’s a much bigger puncher, and capable of doing a lot of damage to Pacquiao.
If Pacquiao does fight Golovkin, he would need a miracle to win, and he could get hurt as Sanchez predicts. You never know though. Golovkin looked terrible against Brook, and he may have lost if not for the injury.
Pacquiao is a better fighter now than Brook was in 2016. If Pacquiao doesn’t get hurt, he could pull off the upset and send Golovkin crashing down to his second career defeat.