By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – As far as Abel Sanchez knows, Gennady Golovkin has never been hurt in an amateur or professional fight.
Sanchez started training Golovkin for his 16th professional fight and has been well-informed by those close to Golovkin about his first 15 pro bouts and an acclaimed amateur career that spanned 350 fights. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin has a proverbial iron chin, but his veteran trainer understands that any fighter can be hurt if caught by powerful puncher with the right shot.
Sanchez has braced himself for the possibility of that happening when Golovkin faces Canelo Alvarez in their highly anticipated middleweight title fight Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena (HBO Pay-Per-View; $79.99).
“I’ve never seen him hurt,” Sanchez told a group of reporters prior to a press conference Wednesday at MGM Grand. “I’ve never seen him go down. From what they tell me, in the amateurs he was never hurt, never went down. But you know what? That’s meaningless. If Canelo lands a good shot, like he did against Khan, and Gennady is exposed, who knows? It’s how he gets up that’s gonna be important, how he gets up and continues, because all the greats were down. It’s just how you get up and continue.”
If Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) hurts the hard-hitting Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) on Saturday night, Sanchez is confident he is prepared to help his 35-year-old fighter overcome that turbulent time in their fight.
“He’s never been in that situation,” Sanchez said. “That’s why a lot of us, a lot of us as a coach, have four-round and six-round and eight-round fighters, and not all of them are gonna be Golovkin. This is where we learn in those fights. So hopefully we react the way we’re supposed to react to help our fighter when that happens to them, if it does happen.”
Like Golovkin, Alvarez has never been down in a professional career that has included 51 professional fights since he made his debut as a 15-year-old nearly 12 years ago in his native Mexico.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.