By Keith Idec
CARSON, California – Judging is far from Abel Sanchez’s only concern if Gennady Golovkin has to return to Las Vegas for his rematch with Canelo Alvarez.
Sanchez still has a problem with how Alvarez’s trainers were able to wrap his hands prior to their middleweight title fight September 16. Golovkin’s trainer was so displeased that night, he got into a heated argument with a Nevada State Athletic Commission inspector while watching Alvarez get his hands wrapped in his locker room at T-Mobile Arena.
The frustrating fact that Alvarez would again be able to wrap his hands in what Sanchez considers “a cast” if their rematch takes place in Las Vegas makes Golovkin’s chief second uneasy.
Sanchez says no other commission in the United States would allow a boxer to wrap his hands the way Alvarez’s trainers did for him before their first fight, which resulted in a controversial draw.
“That is completely illegal in any part of the world, except in Vegas,” Sanchez told a group of reporters after Golovkin’s second-round knockout of Vanes Martirosyan on Saturday night at StubHub Center. “Believe it or not, when we were there on the 18th of April for [Alvarez’s] hearing, they are rewriting the rules to allow that – only in Nevada.”
When asked if that meant Alvarez’s preferred hand-wrapping practice wasn’t previously within the confines of the NSAC’s rules and regulations, Sanchez clarified his statement.
“Now they’re specifying that it’s legal,” Sanchez explained. “Before, it wasn’t either way. I shouldn’t say it’s illegal. It’s not within what we in the business understand is fair play.”
Sanchez considers that type of hand-wrapping a dangerous advantage.
“They’re building a cast,” Sanchez said. “They’re building a cast on his hand. OK, what they did is in order to get away from the tape on the hand, they put wrap and tape, wrap and tape. It’s like when you get a cast, what do they do? They put layers and layers and layers. … And don’t quote me, but you can call the California commission and they’ll tell you that it’s completely illegal and they’re ignorant there [in Nevada].”
Sanchez can’t understand why the NSAC wouldn’t adhere to what other commissions allow in terms of hand-wraps.
“All you’re doing is making your hand into more of a weapon,” Sanchez explained. “It’s not on the knuckles. It’s just on the hand. It protects you, but if that’s the rule, then it should be the rule universally, so that everybody could do it.”
While acceptable in Nevada, Sanchez won’t wrap Golovkin’s hands that way if their rematch is indeed rescheduled for September 15 in Las Vegas. Negotiations are expected to resume soon between promoters for Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2s, 34 KOs) to try to reschedule their high-profile, pay-per-view rematch, which was supposed to take place Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Sanchez said he won’t wrap Golovkin’s hands different than he would in other states, “because I have 10 other fighters and I wanna make sure I wrap them the same way that I’m gonna wrap them anywhere in the world.
“I don’t wanna go somewhere where they’re gonna tell me I can’t do this, and now my fighter, in his mind, is thinking, ‘Oh, I’m used to this,’ and it’s gonna affect him. So I think, mentally, that affects you.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.