By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Abel Sanchez learned an invaluable lesson the night of the first Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez fight.
Golovkin’s trainer protested the technique Alvarez’s trainers used to wrap his hands, known as stacking, when he watched them do it in Alvarez’s dressing room inside T-Mobile Arena. Sanchez got into an argument with a Nevada State Athletic Commission inspector, who told Sanchez that stacking, illegal in most states, is within the NSAC’s rules.
By then, it was too late for Sanchez to do anything about it. He won’t make that mistake again.
Sanchez has discussed the wrapping issue with NSAC executive director Bob Bennett and planned to do so again at the commission’s rules meeting Wednesday for the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The veteran trainer begrudgingly has accepted that stacking, which he says essentially forms a cast underneath gloves, is allowed in Nevada.
He still won’t use that method for Golovkin because Golovkin is accustomed to having his hands wrapped in a more conventional manner. Sanchez also has stressed to the NSAC that Alvarez’s handlers are only permitted to use a limited amount of tape while wrapping his hands, even if they’re stacking.
“Here in Nevada, they seem to accept the stacking, which everybody in the boxing business knows is illegal with wrapping hands,” Sanchez said before a press conference Wednesday at MGM Grand. “I think that [Timothy] Bradley said something on the [ESPN] telecast in the last fight. But because Nevada allows it and the rules are very vague, there’s not more I can say about not accepting that.
“What I will say is that there is rules in their bylaws that says that you’re allowed to use a maximum of 12 feet of two-inch tape, which in turn would be 24 [feet] of one-inch tape. If you look at the video where I protested, they used a whole roll on the first layer, which is 30 feet. And they used another roll on top of it, which is another 30 feet. So to me, that’s more close to 50, 60 feet. I am questioning that and [promoter] Tom [Loeffler] and I had discussions about that with Mr. Bennett. I want those rules followed. We’re gonna follow the rules.”
Sanchez stressed that he wants this issue clarified before Saturday night.
“I want that talked about now,” Sanchez said. “I don’t wanna wait until we’re in the dressing room. I don’t wanna disrupt their concentration. What I’d like to do is get it resolved now, because it’s 24 feet. If it’s vague, it’s vague. I understand that. But if it’s in the rules, then follow your rules, specific.”
The middleweight championship rematch between Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) will headline HBO’s four-bout pay-per-view telecast Saturday night. The telecast is set to start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and costs $84.99 to view in HD.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.