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Sanchez: It’s funny people think Golovkin is showing signs of age

Abel Sanchez believes Gennady Golovkin has set such a high bar for himself that he has to look almost perfect to prove to fans he’s still got it.

Canelo Alvarez & Gennady Golovkin Media Workout Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

In an interview with On The Ropes Boxing Radio, trainer Abel Sanchez talks a little about Golovkin’s preparation for his upcoming fight with Canelo Alvarez as well as all the talk of Golovkin showing signs of decline (which he doesn’t believe).

When asked about what kind of sparring Golovkin has required to get ready for Canelo, who is known as a serious body puncher, Sanchez responds:

“[Canelo] does well to the body against guys that allow him to do that. He does well to the body against other fighters, but if he starts to go to the body against Gennady, he’s going to have to expose himself. How much of that he does, we’ll see on the 16th. We brought in Julian Williams, Kyrone Davis, Dashon Johnson, Kenneth McNeil, we have seven guys in camp that are giving us the kind of speed and work that we need.”

Then when asked about the 35-year-old Golovkin appearing to regress a little, with many pointing to his last two performances as indicators, Sanchez says that you have to take into consideration the opponents he was in with.

“It seems funny to me that this guy has the highest knockout ratio in middleweight history, he’s undefeated, he’s never been hurt, never been down, but yet he’s getting old. People are funny, but I guess they hold him on such a high pedestal that everything he does has to be perfect.

“Danny Jacobs was the second best middleweight in the world, Kell Brook was an undefeated welterweight champion who I knew was going to be difficult from the beginning because he was fast. These guys are quality guys, so it’s funny that Gennady gets those comments made about him.”

It’s true that Danny Jacobs is a legitimately talented middleweight who would pose problems for anyone in the division. It’s also true that Kell Brook is a talent himself. So it’s certainly possible that fans and media have taken some credit away from Golovkin in those performances (both wins, by the way) instead of just giving credit to the opponents. But, to my eyes, Golovkin has shown at least some signs of decline, some of which I first noticed in his fight against Martin Murray.

Then, last night, I re-watched the Golovkin-Jacobs fight and in it I saw Golovkin lulled into more periods of inactivity than I’m accustomed to seeing from him. I also think his inclination to cover up during opponent’s attacks instead of looking for counter opportunities is something that could be exploited. Jacobs certainly had his best success utilizing that approach to score in the fight, even if he didn’t really ever hurt Golovkin.

But styles make fights and here Golovkin won’t be facing a taller opponent using a fleet-footed approach like Jacobs did. Instead Canelo Alvarez will be more of a stationary target, yet one that also does his best work countering in combination. If Canelo can get Golovkin into a pattern of shelling up as he counters and then moving away, Golovkin may well be putting the pressure on himself to have to score a knockout to win the fight.