Sanchez: GGG focused on 160, Ward not relevant as Canelo looms
Gennady Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez has squashed talk of Gennady Golovkin facing Andre Ward anytime soon and says the current middleweight king is preparing to unify his own division for the time being.
Golovkin, 33, is lined up to meet IBF title holder David Lemieux on October 17 and is already stipulated to face the winner of Miguel Cotto v Canelo Alvarez, who square off for the WBC version in Las Vegas one month later.
Talk recently has switched from Golovkin v Lemieux to a possible move up to 168 for ‘GGG’ to face pound for pound star Andre Ward, although Sanchez says that fight is on hold until the middleweight belts are firmly in his fighter’s possession.
Sanchez has been blunt so far in the build-up to the forthcoming unification in stating that Lemieux shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle for Golokvin to manoeuvre in the fall and also believes a fight with Canelo looms for the first half on 2016.
“Right now, Gennady’s focus is on unifying the 160lb titles,” Sanchez exclusively confirmed to World Boxing News.
“Personally I think that Andre Ward is not relevant right now and hopefully one of these days he will ponder where the most important years of his career have gone. Then, once he’s finished blaming everyone else, he will come back down to earth and have his people call Tom Loeffler.
“Ward has to be reasonable and negotiate something that will work, understanding that GGG does not need him. GGG is doing quite well right now and selling out arenas on both coasts. Having Ward on GGG’s ledger does not matter one way or the other to us.
“Regarding Cotto v Canelo, I think youth will win a close decision even though experience will pose some issues early,” he added.
The WBC have already stated on many occasions in the past to WBN that the winners of Golovkin v Lemieux and Cotto v Canelo have to meet, although there are sceptics who see that fight falling apart before Christmas.
As Floyd Mayweather is due to retire in September and ruling on his WBC and WBA belts will happen in November, the winner of Cotto v Canelo is favoured for a move down to contest either or even both of those titles in the months ahead.
That would leave the victor of Golokvin v Lemieux as the full WBC, IBF, WBA and IBO champion and out on their own as the best in the world at the weight.
Attempting to add the solitary WBO belt would then be down to whoever comes out on top of the Andy Lee v Billy Joe Saunders blockbuster on October 10.