Boxing: abel sanchez

Trainer says Hopkins didn't jump shark

March, 6, 2013
I asked Bernard Hopkins a pretty pointed question at Gleason's, during his open workout for media. If and when you do jump the shark, will you turn "old" overnight, in the ring ... or would deterioration be a more gradual thing?

"I don't answer that," said the 48-year-old, who tries to take the IBF 175-pound title from Tavoris Cloud on Saturday night at Barclays Center.

Hopkins' trainer, Naazim Richardson, picked up the topic, saying, "You don't need to get in the ring (to see if a guy has lost it to age). You'd know in the gym."

So, what has Richardson seen in this camp? "I've seen everything I've needed to see," he answered. The implication was clear: Richardson, who says he loves Hopkins and will tell him if he sees dropoff, feels his guy hasn't slipped.

Wednesday, at the Barclays Center presser to hype the Golden Boy card, I asked Cloud's trainer, Abel Sanchez, if he'd seen Hopkins deteriorate over his last few fights. No, he said, he hadn't -- because he really doesn't bother watching tape of his fighter's foe. Sanchez said he wants his fighter to play to his strengths and dictate what happens in the ring, so what the other guy typically does is basically immaterial.

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Trainer Sanchez 100 percent sure of Cloud

March, 5, 2013
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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Check out Gennady Golovkin in NYC

September, 1, 2012
WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who fights Greg Proksa on Saturday night on HBO, spent Wednesday in New York City making the media rounds at Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, and a dinner honoring the 2012 Kazakhstan Olympic medal winners.

Check out this video from Golovkin's NYC tour.

HBO's "Boxing After Dark" from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. kicks off at 9:45 p.m. ET. Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, has whetted appetites for the kid by telling the press he has thunder in both hands and that he's better than Hall of Famer Terry Norris, who Sanchez trained and was a junior middleweight superstar in the early 1990s.
Gennady Golovkin, who might be the best middleweight -- hell, one of the best boxers, pound for pound -- who you don't know, was at Madison Square Garden scouting Sergio Martinez Saturday night. The Kazahkstan-born hitter, who lives in Stuttgart, Germany, and is trained by Californian Abel Sanchez, told ESPN New York, in halting English, that he thinks he's the best middleweight out there right now, including Martinez, and that he would like an opportunity to prove it by fighting Martinez.

Asked whom he thought would win in the main event -- Martinez or Matthew Macklin -- Golovkin picked Martinez. "He has more power," he said. "I think by KO."

Tom Loeffler, who helps run the Klitschko brothers' promotional company, told me that K2 wants to do Golovkin-Martinez, but down the line a bit. First, the company would like to whet the U.S. fans' appetites by showcasing Golovkin on HBO. That could happen in November, Loeffler said.

Golovkin (22-0, 19 KOs), the 29-year-old WBA world middleweight champ (who happens to look nine years younger), stood by as I queried Loeffler, Golovkin's baby face not at all indicative of his chosen trade.

Golovkin wants WBA super world champ Felix Sturm first, and that could happen in September. Golovkin said he has been chasing Sturm (who also lives in Germany, so catching him shouldn't be that hard to do) for two years. Sturm next fights Sebastian Zbik, on April 13, while Golovkin will fight in May against an opponent to be determined. Loeffler also said he'd like, ideally, to see Golovkin take out Daniel Geale, the IBF champ, and/or WBO champ Dmitriy Pirog, to consolidate the crowns.

Sanchez, who trained Terry Norris and Miguel Angel Gonzalez, said Golovkin is better than Norris right now. He told me he has superstar potential, and more.

"He is by far the best fighter I've ever worked with," Sanchez said. Golovkin, Sanchez said, is more cerebral and a better technician than Norris, the ex-junior middleweight champ. "He's the biggest puncher you've ever seen, bar none. Nothing wild, nothing long, everything is compact."

I don't think I've ever come across a trainer as enthused about his client as Sanchez is about Golovkin. He said his fighter has already run Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Peter Quillin and Alfredo Angulo out of the ring in sparring. Sanchez also told me he has a written list at his gym, with Muhammad Ali being No. 1, a blank for No. 2 and Sugar Ray Robinson at No. 3. Give it some time, Sanchez says he told Golovkin, and you will take that slot behind Ali. For that matter, I don't recall the last time I heard a promoter offer to put his guy in against anyone at 154, 160 or 168 pounds, as Loeffler did.

"Andre Ward?" I asked.

"Maybe, yes," Golovkin said.

Hey, I report, and hopefully soon we'll see this kid on American TV, and we'll all decide.