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Canelo vs Golovkin II: Teddy Atlas calls GGG overrated, Abel Sanchez fires back

Is Gennady Golovkin overrated? Teddy Atlas thinks so, and Abel Sanchez thinks someone else is.

Boxing: Canelo vs Golovkin-Weigh Ins Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The chatter has been consistent since they fought last year. Who would and now who WILL win the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez?

Can the vet summon something more in a sequel, even though he’s that much older, as he will be turning 36 in April?

Can the “kid,” with more confidence tucked into his belt-line, elevate his game another notch and this time steal a couple more rounds with slick boxing?

The chatter isn’t limited to fans, either. On a recent radio hit on Sirius/XM, ESPN analyst and sometimes-trainer Teddy Atlas was asked by hosts Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney about the May 5 rematch. Who wins, and how, Atlas was asked.

Teddy, as he is prone to do, didn’t pull a punch. He’s not typically interested in minimizing critique in order to be more politically palatable. Hello, maybe you noticed that he got yanked off ESPN’s bouts which are put together by Top Rank, as their booth now features his ex-protégé, Tim Bradley, as well as writer Mark Kriegel, and blow-by-blow vet Joe Tessitore.

“Golovkin is a guy who’s starting to slip,” Atlas told Cooney and Randy. “I said this before it was popular to say, that he was an overrated guy. I said it on your air, you guys jumped all over me!”

Bang, boom, sharp combo, a one-two followed by an overhand right, and a hook to cap it…

He not only offers his blunt take on Golovkin, but takes a jabbing stab at the hosts for not jumping on board that boat with him.

Teddy continued, a sharp ring general in command of his real estate. GGG was beating up on 154s, he asserted, middle aged Euros, as he built up his rep.

“Golovkin won the first fight, won it clearly…but in the rematch I’m gonna go the other way, for Canelo, because Golovkin is slipping,” the New Yorker stated. “Canelo wasn’t sure that he could handle the size and the strength of GGG, now he is sure, and I think he is going to be more consistent from an offensive standpoint in this rematch, and he might win the fight easy.”

Chew on that, friends…

Easy? EASY?

I hear some validity in that Atlas assessment, especially when he talks about how confidence could make the Mexican that much better on the night of the sequel. As for “overrated,” I think GGG was unlucky in that 160 wasn’t a loaded division when he was on the come up and at his athletic peak.

The “overrated” topic popped up again, when ex-heavyweight contender Cooney wondered aloud how much the Kazakh hitter has “slipped.” Slipped, pondered Atlas…or never as good as some made him out to be? “Is it him being exposed for what he wasn’t,” the former Cus D’Amato disciple said.

Abel Sanchez trains Golovkin, and you saw his new superstar in action Saturday, when Murat Gassiev downed Yunier Dorticos in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight semifinal in Russia, and sent himself to the final, against Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, in May.

I asked Abel about Teddy’s take on the GGG v Canelo rematch, and that “overrated” tag.

“Atlas is the one who is overrated, always has been. Finally ESPN took the blindfolds and ear plugs off to clearly see and hear that,” Sanchez told me.

Yes, shots fired. He is a proud and also at times feisty fellow who cares deeply about his loyal charge, Golovkin, and comes to the defense against attackers.

“Opinions are easy to offer, look at the ones before the first fight,” Sanchez continued. “The bottom line is, the fight proved who was best and the public knows what the score should have been. Those opinions are irrelvant, and people like Teddy Atlas and Adalaide Byrd seem to use a beautiful and dangerous sport to make themselves relevant.”

Heavyweight rumbling right there, friends. Fire me your three cents on Teddy’s take and Abel’s answers.

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