By Edward Chaykovsky
Abel Sanchez, trainer of WBA/IBO/IBF/WBC middleweight world champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (35-0, 32KOs), denies the longstanding discussion that his team requested a catch-weight of 164-pounds for a potential fight with ex-super middleweight king Andre Ward (29-0, 15KOs).
Ward stated that his team contacted Golovkin for a super middleweight showdown and GGG's promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, requested a catch-weight of 164-pounds. Ward says a second approach was turned down very quickly.
Due to his inability to make any progress with Golovkin, Ward made a decision to move up in weight and is now a leading contender at light heavyweight - with a planned fight against world champion Sergey Kovalev in November.
Sanchez claims there was never a request for a weight of 164 - because the two sides had never negotiated any terms or entered negotiations at any point time. He also claims Ward was requesting a handful of tuneup fights.
"Words have been spoken [back and forth]. Words have been said, but people have to remember that it takes a willing participant to negotiate for a fight. When they say we turned them down or asked him to come down to 164, well that's not true. That's not true. That's something that Dan Rafael wrote.. something about a 50-50 thing with the money and the weight and everything, and we never asked for 164. The fight has never been negotiated," Sanchez told Hustle Boss' Chris Robinson.
"And Andre claims that a proposal was sent to Tom. And that's true. It was sent, it was sent about 15 or 20 minutes after we agreed to the Lemieux fight. And it also said that it wasn't going to be a fight in 2016, it was going to be 2017 because he needed a couple of tune-up fights. It's impossible for us to keep a man who's 33-years-old, like Gennady, on the shelf waiting for Andre Ward to be ready. But I would love to see a fight like that. It may still happen, who knows."