RESULTS: Frank Sanchez defeats Christian Hammer, says he beats Fury & Usyk
By Allan Fox: Undefeated heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez (20-0, 13 KOs) kept his perfect record and high ranking intact with a shutout 10 round unanimous decision win over substitute Christian Hammer (26-9, 16 KOs) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida.
(Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
The judges scored the fight 100-89, 100-89, and 100-89, all for the 29-year-old Sanchez. Boxing News 24 also had it 100-89.
Neither fighter landed more than a small handful of punches, though, in part to Sanchez’s focus on moving and avoiding shots.
Frank displayed Mayweather-esque skills
Sanchez’s defense was top-notch, but his offense was limited to single shots of the slapping variety and jabs.
Not surprisingly, Hammer landed only 24 punches to 89 of Sanchez. Hammer connected on only 13% of his punches due to Sanchez pulling back each time he would throw. Sanchez even pulled back when Hammer would feint, and he looked wary at all times of the German-based fighter’s power.
Sanchez, a stable-mate for Canelo Alvarez, mainly was pot-shotting in a Mayweather-esque style the entire fight.
That kind of fighting style wins rounds, but it’s not going to score a knockout, particularly when a fighter has no power real power like Sanchez. While Mayweather’s fans loved his play-it-safe pot-shotting approach to his fights, that admiration hasn’t translated over to Frank Sanchez.
The fans weren’t enthused by Sanchez’s fighting style last Saturday night, as he was criticized heavily on social media for being “BORING” and being too safety first against his journeyman-level opponent in Hammer.
Canelo: “Nobody can beat Frank Sanchez”
Interestingly, Canelo Alvarez was interviewed during the event, and he predicted that Sanchez would be a heavyweight champion within a year.
“In one year, he’s going to be champion. Nobody can beat Frank Sanchez,” said Canelo Alvarez last Saturday night when interviewed by FOX.
It’s going to take more than Canelo talking up Sanchez’s ability for him to get a title shot and defeat one of the champions like Oleksandr Usyk or Tyson Fury.
Sanchez’s painfully boring pull-back style of fighting will make it impossible for him to win rounds against Usyk or Fury. At the upper level of the sport, heavyweights are expected to hold their ground and fight to impress the judges and entertain the boxing fans.
What we saw last night and in many of Sanchez’s past fights was him throwing single shots and then running away, circling the ring endlessly. It was not fun to watch and not the kind of effort that the Cuban fighter needs for him to get that paper.
Sanchez wants to be rich one day, but it’s going to be difficult for him to do that with his elusive fighting style.
Again, Floyd Mayweather Jr. made a lot of money fighting the way Sanchez showed last night, but that style isn’t as engaging at the heavyweight level.
Fans want entertainment, and Mayweather’s boring safety-first fighting style would never work in the heavyweight division.
If Canelo can use his popularity in boxing to pull some strings to get Sanchez a title shot within the next 12 months, maybe he can become a heavyweight champion within a year.
Sanchez unlikely to be given a title shot soon
Unfortunately, the odds of Sanchez being given a title shot within a year are so remote that it’s not even worth speculating about. His fighting style is very, very dull and reminiscent of safety-first heavyweights in the past like Chris Byrd and Jimmy Young.
For Sanchez to get a title shot next year, he’ll need to compete in an eliminator and beat an excellent heavyweight with power and ability.
With the lack of punching power that Sanchez showed last Saturday night against Hammer, he’ll have his work cut out if he faces someone with some pop in their punches like Filip Hrgovic, Daniel Dubois, Andy Ruiz Jr., or Joe Joyce.
The 29-year-old Sanchez, born and raised in Guantanamo, Cuba, and now lives in Miami, Florida, outboxed the 34-year-old Hammer throughout the 10 round contest.
Sanchez was levels above the slow-moving, out-of-shape Hammer, and he was able to pick him apart with precise punches the entire fight. However, it wasn’t an entertaining contest, as Sanchez wasn’t throwing a lot of shots and moving entirely too much given the low-level ability of his opponent Hammer.
Hammer couldn’t land
Sanchez knocked the Romanian-born Hammer down in the tenth round, but it was more of a push-down that the referee Samuel Burgos failed to notice.
When Hammer got back to his feet, he looked at the referee in disbelief and motioned to him that he wasn’t knocked down from a punch. Nevertheless, the referee ruled the knockdown legitimately, tarnishing Sanchez’s victory.
Hammer marched forward all night long, looking to land shots against Sanchez, but he couldn’t connect with many of his shots. When Hammer did throw, Sanchez would lean back just enough for the punch to miss.
The only time Hammer was able to connect with any degree of success was when he targeted the body of Sanchez.
In terms of power, Sanchez didn’t show much. Hammer was the harder puncher of the two, but he didn’t throw enough. Sanchez’s punches to the body of Hammer bothered him more than anything because he looked soft downstairs.
If Sanchez’s work rate were a lot higher, he would have had a chance to get Hammer out of there, but he wasn’t throwing enough punches.
Frank pleased with his performance
“I feel very happy,” said Sanchez after the fight. “Starting out the year like this with another win in front of all the Cuban fans here in Miami is amazing.”
Sanchez came into the contest having beaten the big-punching Efe Ajagba by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision last October. That was a similar style contest with Sanchez using his counter-punching ability to pick Ajagba apart, making him pay each time he let his hands go.
That fight was a little more entertaining than last night’s contest between Sanchez and Hammer because Ajagba was letting his hands go trying to win. Hammer looked like he was just trying to survive in a journeyman-level fashion.
Sanchez is ranked #5 WBO, #6 WBC, which puts him in the neighborhood of eventually being ordered to fight in a title eliminator.
But again, it’s doubtful that any of those two sanctioning bodies will be ordering a title eliminator with Sanchez and one of the other highly ranked top five contenders within the next 12 months.
As such, the only way that Sanchez will be getting a crack at a world title in the next year is if one of the champions chooses to give him a voluntary shot.
Given how Sanchez fights, that will likely never happen during his career. Sanches’s fighting style is all wrong for him to be given a title shot by any of the champions in an optional defense, and he’s not popular.
If Sanchez had Canelo’s popularity, he would have already been given a title shot, but he doesn’t and never will, not with his dull fighting style.
Sanchez says he’ll beat Fury and Usyk
“The fight, you saw it, I barely got hit, and everything came out great,” said Frank Sanchez to ESNEWS after his win over Hammer. “I had a lot of technique for him [Hammer], and he couldn’t catch me.
“I had already hit him a couple of times to the body, and it was hurting him, so he was hugging,” said Sanchez on why Hammer kept clinching.
“And I want the best right now; the top five is what I want,” said Sanchez on who he wants to fight next. “I’ll knock him out. He has no boxing skills,” Frank said when asked what would be the outcome of a fight between him and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
“Even easier,” Sanchez said about a fight between him and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk. “Usyk has the movement, but he doesn’t have the technique that I do.
“They were happy with me after the fight and that everything had come out the way they wanted it to come out and everything that they worked on in the gym came out,” said Sanchez when asked what his trainer Eddy Reynoso and gym-mate Canelo Alvarez said after his win over Hammer.
“I started off the year well, and I’m going for the titles,” Sanchez on what his thoughts are on the start of 2022 for him. “Canelo was happy with what I did and what I was doing in the ring.”
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