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Abel Sanchez on Saucedo-Zappavigna: ‘HBO made Arturo Gatti an idol’

Trainer Abel Sanchez discusses Alex Saucedo’s bloody win over Lenny Zappavigna.

Michael Conlan and Alex Saucedo Media Workout Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

A Fight of the Year candidate, a so-called “fan friendly” scrap, it might not be seen with as much joy in the eyes of the trainer as in the average watcher.

Abel Sanchez corners Alex Saucedo, who went to 28-0 on Saturday night, when he broke down Lenny Zappavigna on ESPN, and stopped him in round seven of their faceoff, which was promoted by Top Rank.

Fight of the Year candidate, said many pundits. But what about Abel? What did the tutor think as he saw that ebb and flow, and he saw his kid take punishment, especially in round 4?

“I knew it was going to be difficult, we didn’t expect a cut,” Sanchez said on Sunday. “This guy gave Sergey Lipinets a difficult fight. The cut made it look ugly, but a good win for Alex.”

And was is/is he happy with the kid’s defensive aptitude?

“Never happy with any of my fighters getting hit excessively but it is boxing, it happens, you get hit in this sport,” Sanchez continued, speaking on his Mexican-born hitter, who is just 24.

“HBO and you east coast fans made a guy with less defense an idol, a so-called great fighter, I don’t or wouldn’t want to take that warrior mentality from him. We work on defense and offense every day in the gym, but some just want to fight and please their fans, it’s in their DNA.”

Interesting point made about the buildup of Arturo Gatti, and that got me thinking about styles, which ones are more or less embraced according to regions.

“Fans aka geniuses are fickle. Too much defense is boring, not enough defense, it’s bad for their future, I say just enjoy your preference,” stated the teacher, in summation.

My three cents: I agree with Abel. Fans dig rumblers, but then a certain element will critique hard and blast them for being defensively leaky. Bottom line: can’t please all the people all the time.

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