By Keith Idec
Abel Sanchez sees September 15 as an opportunity for Canelo Alvarez to redeem himself as much as anything.
Gennady Golovkin’s trainer obviously hopes Alvarez loses their rematch that night. But even if Golovkin beats Alvarez in their second middleweight title fight, Sanchez still thinks the Mexican superstar can regain credibility among some detractors if he fights in a more fan-friendly way than he did during his controversial 12-round draw with Golovkin last year.
The 28-year-old Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) has repeatedly promised to exchange more against Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in their rematch. He has taken offense, however, to Sanchez and others who’ve chastised him for “running” in their first fight.
The former middleweight and junior middleweight champion contends that he boxed against the hard-hitting Golovkin. Nevertheless, Alvarez has taken a lot of criticism for his strategy in their first fight and for failing two performance-enhancing drug tests in February that led to a six-month suspension and the cancelation of his May 5 rematch versus Golovkin.
“I think he has a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of a lot of fans,” Sanchez said Tuesday on a conference call. “Just because he’s losing fans, Gennady’s gaining them and other fighters are gaining them. As long as the fans are continuing to watch the sport and continue to support us, Gennady will do his part. Canelo will do his part as he sees he needs to do.
“And maybe in the future Canelo will be an afterthought if he doesn’t redeem himself in the way that fans want him to redeem himself. He’s got a duty in this fight not only to himself, but to his people, to prove what he was telling all of us was true. And if he does, I think he’ll be celebrated – win, lose or draw, he’ll be celebrated because of his approach to this fight.”
The 36-year-old Golovkin is slightly favored to beat Alvarez in their 12-round rematch for Golovkin’s WBA, WBC and IBO middleweight titles. Their main event will headline HBO Pay-Per-View’s four-fight broadcast a week from Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas ($84.99 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.