14
Nov
2018

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Saucedo trainer Abel Sanchez on THAT FOURTH ROUND Lenny Zappavigna ONSLAUGHT, what’s next

Phil Jay 03/07/2018

Unless you’ve been on another planet since Sunday, all of boxing is now familiar with the Alex Saucedo v Lenny Zappavigna clash on ESPN this weekend. 

Undefeated Saucedo, highly ranked with the WBO, put it all on the line against rugged Australian Zappavigna in Oklahoma City in a fight for the super-lightweight ages.

The pair weathered many painful exchanges in what was a brutal war, but it’s the fourth round in particular which will live longest in the memory.

Zappavigna, as if possessed or pushed under duress to finish the bout in that fourth session, went all out on Saucedo and looked likely to end the contest after just a few seconds.

Credit must go to referee Gerald Ritter though, as Saucedo was allowed to continue for the entire round as he was upright and still landing back throughout Zappavigna’s onslaught.

As Zappavigna had been on the floor himself the previous round, Ritter must have sensed Saucedo was still dangerous, which ultimately proved to be the case when the encounter was halted three rounds later.

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With two days reflection on what he’d witnessed, WBN caught up with Saucedo’s trainer Abel Sanchez to gain his perspective from his close-up position at the ring apron.

Asked his opinion on Saucedo’s vulnerability – if any, Sanchez stated there was no way he’d have considered throwing in the towel.

“I was thinking that Alex’s legs were good and that he was throwing back,” Sanchez exclusively told World Boxing News.

“To me, Alex didn’t appear to be helpless at any point during that round so I never contemplated stopping it,” he added.

On what effect the win can have on Saucedo’s career as his profile hits the roof, Sanchez believes the WBO number one has thoroughly earned his chance at new 140 pound title holder Maurice Hooker.

“I definitely think it will help Alex’s career, especially with fanbase, promoters and his own mental outlook,” said Sanchez.

“Alex is mandatory for Hooker and I would hope that Top Rank would able to put that fight together before the end of the year.”

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Finally, quizzed on whether he thinks a rematch with Zappavigna could be the way to go due to the solid standing of the battle in the aftermath, Sanchez seemed content to focus on Hooker for the time being.

“Lenny retired after the fight, but Alex has his mandatory shot so we want that this year,” concluded the coach of middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay

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