By Rick Reeno
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - Abel Sanchez, trainer of WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (33-0, 30KOs), believes Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12KOs) has done absolutely nothing to deserve a shot at his boxer.
In the last few months, Lara - who holds the WBA/IBO titles at junior middleweight - has demanded a fight with Golovkin.
Lara is not alone. Former WBC 154-pound champion Sergio Mora (28-3-2, 9KOs) was also calling for a shot at Golovkin.
Lara was last seen in the ring on June 12th, when he won a lopsided twelve round decision over Delvin Rodriguez. Mora will challenge Danny Jacobs for the WBA's "regular" middleweight crown on August 1.
Golovkin's promoter, Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, presented both options to Sanchez - who rejected them both.
"When Tom came to me and offered Lara and Sergio Mora, I'm the one who said 'I don't want those fights.' I'm the one who said that before there was a chance to have it discussed with Gennady. I told that to Tom, because first of all Lara has not earned the right to fight Golovkin. And the reason I say that is because he takes fights like Delvin, and Delvin is not a bad fighter but he doesn't belong at that level. He struggled with Delvin. Yes he won every round but he didn't do what he needed to do in order to be in the mix," Sanchez explained to BoxingScene.com.
"And as far as Mora, I don't think he's done enough either. Just because he's fighting Jacobs, who's with Al [Haymon], good for him - because that's the only reason he's getting that opportunity [is because both of them are with Haymon]. But in my opinion Mora has not done enough to earn a fight with Golovkin."
Regarding Lara, Sanchez was very disappointed with his performance against Rodriguez. He says Lara could have finished Rodriguez off in the sixth (when Lara scored a big knockdown), but he took his foot off the gas and seemed comfortable with simply outboxing Rodriguez the rest of the way. The final result was flat when considering how easily Miguel Cotto demolished Rodriguez in three rounds two years ago.
If Lara had blown out fighters like Rodriguez and Austin Trout (who was dropped and badly hurt in the eleventh), Sanchez would seriously consider the idea of fighting him.
"I think if you keep telling people that you're the best fighter in the world at 154-pounds, then you should be willing to go out and prove that. The nature of the sport right now, the guys at the top like Gennady and Kovalev, and Wladimir doing his thing at heavyweight - they are knocking people out and giving the people something for their money. And Lara doesn't seem to do that," Sanchez said.
"I don't know why he took his foot off the gas. He could have had Delvin out of there but he didn't. He could have done more to Canelo but he didn't. So that doesn't make him appealing to not only HBO but also to me and our team - and that's the reason why I turned him down."