Trainer Sanchez 100 percent sure of Cloud

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
6:30
PM ET
Abel Sanchez said IBF 175 pound champ Tavoris Cloud is resurgent going into his Saturday Barclays Center clash against Bernard Hopkins. "He'd gotten complacent," said the trainer of middleweight "It" bomber Gennady Golovkin. "Though trainer Al Bonanni did a great job."

The political side of the sport had ground the 31-year-old Cloud down, Sanchez said during an open workout at Gleason's Gym, and he sees a spring in the fighter's step now. "We try to keep it fresh in camp, and I talk to him a lot, talk about the future, about being a star," he said. Of that he knows; Sanchez trained "Terrible" Terry Norris, who blazed brightly as a three time champ and junior middleweight ace in the late '80s and '90s.

Sanchez said sparring with Golovkin helped Cloud, but not because he got into battle mode. No, Sanchez doesn't want or allow gym wars. He noted that because it is private, fighters don't get the desire to show off their stuff, impress onlookers, as you see at most open gyms. Therefore, his guys aren't prone to wearing out in the gym and tearing muscles.

Sanchez said he's "100 percent" sure Cloud beats Hopkins -- there's "not a snowball's chance," he said -- but then allowed for a .01 percent chance that the oldster's experience could prove too troubling. "Twenty years ago, Hopkins was a different man," Sanchez said.

If Hopkins does have some luck dictating pace, Sanchez wants Cloud to move both his feet and his hands. He wants him to get angles and extricate from clinches, but also move his hands and bang Hopkins when Bernard starts smothering.

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Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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