By Keith Idec
Abel Sanchez is sure Gennady Golovkin has fought bigger punchers than Canelo Alvarez.
The man who trains Golovkin believes Curtis Stevens and David Lemieux both possessed superior power when they challenged Golovkin in middleweight title fights. The unbeaten Golovkin stopped Stevens and Lemieux, despite the danger they presented.
Sanchez isn’t as certain Golovkin will win against Alvarez by knockout or technical knockout. The Mexican superstar has displayed a granite chin during his 11-year pro career and Alvarez’s ability as a counter-puncher is a danger Golovkin must guard against during their 12-round showdown September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View).
“I think Canelo is the best counter-puncher that we’ll have faced to date,” Sanchez said during a conference call Monday. “He may not be the puncher that Curtis is with one shot or Lemieux, let’s just say. But he’s a heck of a better boxer than both of those guys. And not only that, he’s directly in front of us right now. So he is the most difficult guy. If we don’t get past him, it doesn’t matter what we did against the rest.”
Earlier in the call, Sanchez said he expects Golvokin (37-0, 33 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) to hurt each other when they square off next month, and wouldn’t be surprised if both boxers went down in their middleweight title fight. Neither fighter has hit the canvas during pro careers that combine to span 88 fights.
Sanchez also clarified comments he previously made regarding Alvarez’s tendency to slap at times with his punches.
“If you go back to the quote that I said, when he gets in a hurry he tends to slap,” Sanchez said. “But Canelo is the most important fight and the most difficult fight in front of us right now. Why? Because he’s in front of us. He’s on the 16th. If we were fighting [Daniel] Jacobs, I would’ve said the same thing about Jacobs. So it’s Canelo right now, and Canelo is the most difficult to this point because he is next.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.