By Rick Reeno
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - Abel Sanchez, trainer of WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin, has made it absolutely clear that he's not going to budge from his position that a potential fight with Andre Ward will only happen if Ward - the recognized champion at super middleweight - is wiling to meet them halfway at a catch-weight of 164-pounds.
Golovkin and his team received more than their fair share of heat in recent days, after placing a catch-weight demand on a potential fight with Ward. The reason for the heat, is because Golovkin was willing to fight both Carl Froch and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the full super middleweight limit.
But, Golovkin's side viewed Froch and Chavez Jr. as HBO Pay-Per-View opportunities, while they don't see Ward in the same respect. And Ward is by far a more dangerous fight, and likely one of the few boxers between 160 to 168 who the oddsmakers would favor to beat Golovkin.
Sanchez is a little annoyed that Ward faced Chad Dawson - who at the time was the light heavyweight king - at the super middleweight limit. In Ward's defense, it was Dawson who pushed the idea of dropping down to 168 to fight Ward.
The pecking order has changed, says Sanchez, with his boxer standing in front as the A-side of the equation. Having said that, he believes a 50-50 agreement in weight is more than fair.
"We don't need Ward. Golovkin doesn't need Ward. Dawson needed Ward. The fact that he made Dawson come down to 168 kind of irks me. When [Golovkin's promoter] Tom [Loeffler] said 50-50, and me and Tom talked about it, he meant 50-50 all the way across. That was the reason why I said 50-50 and 50-50 means 164 - right in the middle. If they want the fight, come to what Golovkin is aking for," Sanchez told BoxingScene.com.
"I don't think Ward should have a problem making 164. He talked about fighting Mayweather at 160. Why is he talking about fighting Mayweather at 160 if he's not willing to fight Gennady at 164?"
"If they thought that it was in their best interest to fight Gennady at 164, then fight him - or else they can go about their way. For us, Golovkin is the A-fighter in this situation and I don't care what anybody says. It's not like Golovkin is asking him to come down to 160, like [Golovkin] was going to do for Mayweather and go to 154. We're asking him to meet us halfway. If he doesn't want to, that's okay - we'll just go on to the next one."
And if Ward holds the line at 168?
"Then tell Ward to go somewhere else. We don't need Ward. That would be my response to Tom, if Tom came to me with that," Sanchez said.
Ward returned last month after being away from the ring since November of 2013. He stopped Paul Smith in the ninth round of a fight which took place at 172-pounds. If Ward puts together a few good wins and gets the buzz going again, Golovkin's position on the weight might have some wiggle room.
"That's something that would be a discussion amongst the team. And if we all came to the consensus that it was the right thing to do, at that point, then yes [we'd consider budging on the weight]. But right now, as it stands, he has to come to 164 if he wants to fight Gennady," Sanchez said.