Eddy Reynoso, head trainer to two-division world champion and current Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), and Abel Sanchez, head trainer to WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), hosted an international media conference call head of the highly anticipated Canelo vs. Golovkin, a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world that will take place during Mexican Independence Day weekend on Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Roberto Diaz, Matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions, and Tom Loeffler, Promoter of Golovkin, also participated in today’s conference call. “Supremacy,” the showdown that will determine who is the king of the middleweight division, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Here is what Eddy Reynoso, Abel Sanchez, Roberto Diaz and Tom Loeffler said during today’s call:
ROBERTO DIAZ, Matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions: Thank you to all the media that have dialed in today for Canelo vs. Golovkin trainers international media conference call with Canelo’s trainer, Eddy Reynoso, and Gennady Golovkin, GGG’s trainer, Abel Sanchez.
The middleweight battle for World Champion Canelo Alvarez and WBC, IBO, IBF and WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. It’s Saturday September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and will be televised by the best network, the network of champions, HBO Pay-Per-View.
Today we will hear from both trainers on how their fighters are preparing for the biggest fight of their careers, with the opportunity to ask some questions.
I want to take a moment to thank our sponsors: Tecate “BORN BOLD,” Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Fathom Events, Tsesnabank and Capital Holdings.
I also want to remind everyone to mark their calendars for episode Episode #1 of 24/7, Canelo/Golovkin which premieres Saturday, August 26 on HBO, immediately following the World Championship Boxing Doubleheader from the StubHub Center.
Lastly, don’t forget that while tickets for T-Mobile Arena are sold out, there’s still tickets for the closed circuit at the Bellagio Resort and Casino, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, The Mirage Hotel and Casino, Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, New York-New York Hotel and Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino and Circus Circus Las Vegas are priced at $75, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and are currently on sale. Tickets may be purchased at any MGM Resorts International Box Office, by phone with a major credit card at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
I’d like to hand it over to our co-promotor, Tom Loeffler to make some brief comments and introduce Gennady Golovkin’s trainer, Mr. Abel Sanchez.
TOM LOEFFLER, Promoter of Gennady Golovkin: Thanks, Robert. Couldn’t be more excited about this event coming up. I mean, you can’t describe it other than it’s the biggest event in boxing.
We’ve gotten a tremendous response since both of these warriors agreed to fight each other September 16. It’s been — everything’s gone smooth, working together with Golden Boy.
I’ve been up to the camp a number of times. We’ve never gotten so many media requests to come up to the Summit Gym up in Big Bear where Abel Sanchez does all the training, and it’s just the flood of requests is amazing.
You always have to balance it between accommodating the media requests and Gennady actually preparing for the fight. With that being said, I want to introduce the two-time trainer of the year, Abel Sanchez.
ROBERTO DIAZ: Let me introduce to you guys one of the best trainers. While we get Abel back on the line, let’s hear opening comments from one of the best trainers in the business today, Eddy Reynoso who is preparing Canelo for his showdown with Gennady Golovkin.
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer of Canelo Alvarez: I just want to say hello to everybody, good morning, and we are here to serve you.
I can’t agree more. Like Tom said, it’s the fight that all the media, all the fans have been asking for. It’s here, just a few weeks away, and this is why you definitely don’t want to miss it. It could go down as one of the best middleweight fights in history.
ABEL SANCHEZ, Head Trainer of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin: Thank you, Robert, for the intro. Good morning to everybody on the line, all the media.
Training is going great. We’re really looking forward to September 16. I think the two best fighters in boxing are going to meet each other that night. That’s it. Thank you.
Q. Obviously, the competition is between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, but I know that trainers are competitive, also, and certainly want to win for their own careers and obviously for their fighters’ careers. I want to know from your perspective, when you say it’s the two best fighters in boxing in a big, big fight that we have on September 16, how do you look at it in terms of the competition between yourself and your opposing trainer, Eddy Reynoso?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think at this point if you consider those two fighters the best fighters in boxing, these are the two best trainers in boxing, also. Eddy and Chepo have done a great job with Canelo, and I think we have done a great job with Gennady.
The winner on the 16th is not necessarily the best fighter in boxing, but the best fighter that night. Same with the trainers. I think that the competition between us needs to be there so that we can prepare our guys to be the best they can be that night.
Q. Can you also tell me, we’ve seen Gennady knockout so many opponents, obviously didn’t get the knockout in the fight with Danny in March but he had a 23-knockout streak before that. But Canelo has had some spectacular knockouts himself in his recent fights; not necessarily Chavez fight but prior to that.
Both guys are looked at as punchers in this fight and they are both obviously very good boxers. When you look at the matchup, do you think this is more of a fight where Gennady is going to be the guy to be the biggest puncher or is he going to be the one to have to get the win to out-box Canelo? How do you view this matchup?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I see both guys being aggressive and I see Gennady being more physical. I see Gennady trying to dictate the pace. Canelo has proven that he’s a warrior. We’re looking for a tough fight.
I think that both guys are going to hurt each other, and they may go down. But I think we will be treated to a throwback fight like in the mid 80s when the four kings, the five kings, were around.
Q. You say you might see Gennady get knocked down. In his entire professional career and amateur career, there was no evidence of him being seriously hurt in a fight or even close to going down. Is that because you have that much respect for Canelo’s punching power, or are you just trying to hype this up a little bit?
ABEL SANCHEZ:No, no, I have respect not only for his punching power, but I have respect for Eddy and Chepo doing the things that are necessary to counteract some of the things that we’re going to be doing.
I think it’s a fight where it’s going to be a chess match at the beginning and then once you get past that point where they are trying to see what each other is doing, they are going to go at each other. And it’s going to be up to us in the corner to make sure we dictate what we want done and make sure that we come up with a different plan if the first one is not working.
Q. Similar to what I asked Abel as is related to the competition that exists between the trainer, Abel Sanchez was the 2015 Trainer of the Year, has got a lot of credit for the work he’s done, not only with Gennady but for some other fighters. Eddy has never been the Trainer of the Year. I think a lot of the people think the winner of this fight might be the Fighter of the Year. How big of a deal is it for Eddy to compete against another outstanding trainer like Abel Sanchez and maybe etch himself as a possible trainer of the year if his man gets the big victory?
EDDY REYNOSO: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you. Look, at the end of the day, the most important thing for us is that our fighter wins. We’re doing everything necessary. We’re preparing so that happens come fight night.
Look, at the end of the day, with the results come all the recognitions and everything else will come with it. But the most important thing for us is to win September 16.
Q. To both Abel and Eddy, look, in the past, Freddie Roach, Mayweather Senior, they have all gotten the attention of the boxing world as some of the best trainer, but today, all eyes, all focus, is on Eddy Reynoso and Abel Sanchez. How important is it and how motivating is it that you guys are the top trainers right now and all eyes are on you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, I’m extremely proud that two Mexicans are guiding the two best fighters in the sport and we are going to be meeting each other for supremacy on the 16th. I will be extremely happy that the fans recognize the fact that it’s not only Canelo as a Mexican, but Gennady has a Mexican style, but Eddy and I are both very proud Mexicans.
EDDY REYNOSO: We’re very, very happy to what we have achieved and happy doing what we love. And we’ve got to keep advancing, keep doing what we do best, and that’s winning and advancing; so that one day, hopefully not too in the distant future, we can be considered as one of the best in the game.
Q. Eddy, when GGG was introduced to mainstream, the American public, he was introduced with the label of “Mexican-style.” And that could be with influence, obviously, of his trainer being Mexican, Abel Sanchez. But the question is: Do you see him as a Mexican-style fighter?
EDDY REYNOSO: Yeah, you know, it obviously has some things of the Mexican style, because his trainer, there’s influence there. He’s taught him some Mexican style of fights. But let’s not forget at the end of the day, he’s from Kazakhstan; that’s where his roots are, and although he may have a little bit of the Mexican style that he’s been taught, at the end of the day, he can’t have the full Mexican style.
Q. To Abel, do you think that after September 16, after the fight, the winner will be considered pound for pound No. 1 in boxing?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I don’t think that’s something for me to say. I think that the journalists and the media at large and the fans will have their opinion. But I think that fight on the 16th, we have the two best boxers in the sport going at each other, so they can determine that.
But going back to what you asked Eddy, I think the Mexican style — part of the Mexican style that Golovkin has adapted, that the fans really, really like is the fact of his aggressiveness. It reminds us of some of the fighters of the past, great Mexicans of the past, like Julio Cesar Chavez and some of Olivares’ fights, and some of the old-timers that they used to give us those great, entertaining fights.
Q. For Abel, with Gennady, because the fight is so big and so much went into making this fight, is there anything different about his demeanor? Can you tell that he’s anticipating or looking forward to this more than previous fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Absolutely looking very forward to this. I think he feels that Canelo is the best challenge for him right now. He thinks he’s the best boxer out there possible for him.
The frustration of having the fights in the past and just talking talk, and some of the fights that we’ve had to take, I think he’s excited. I think that his anticipation level for this one is like it used to be, like, say, six, seven fights ago.
Q. How would you compare this fight with what we are going to see next week in Vegas with Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think we in this conference should concentrate on the two best boxers that are going to fight on the 16th. What happens next week is irrelevant to me. I would just rather wait for the 16th and put the two best fighters in the ring.
EDDY REYNOSO: Bravo, Bravo.
Q. Abel, I was wondering if you could tell us how important Gennady’s jab is in this fight, because he was able to use it very well against Lemieux, but wasn’t quite as accurate with his jab against Jacobs for a variety of reasons.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think all aspects are very important. We had Lemieux in the ring, and Gennady handled him with the jab. But I don’t think it’s the same — Canelo is not Lemieux. Canelo is a better fighter.
Canelo is going to give us some difficulties, but all aspects of it, not only the jab, but the straight right hand is going to be very important. Defense is going to be very important. It’s not the easy fight that people are looking at. It’s going to be a difficult fight for us and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
Q. What did Jacobs do to take his jab away?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, he ran most of the last part of the fight. But I think his size was a little hard to deal with at the beginning, and then by the time started running, it was difficult to catch up with him.
But Jacobs is a very good fighter, also. Just different kind of problems that he presents. He’s not the fighter, he doesn’t have the boxing ability that Canelo does. Maybe he has the size and power more than Canelo but Canelo is a better boxer.
Q. How much improvement have you seen with Canelo over the last three years?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Tremendous improvement. I think, like I said, Eddy and Chepo have done a fantastic job. I think when we had him here at 19, 20 years old, he looked like a star, like he could have been a star. He looked like he was progressing but the fight that they put him in, the challenges that they have given him, have developed into the star that he is today. I see tremendous improvement.
Q. Eddy, how important is it to neutralize Golovkin’s jab ifs he’s going to win this fight?
EDDY REYNOSO: It’s not just the jab that has to be neutralized. It’s a lot of aspects. He doesn’t just have the jab. He’s a very aggressive fighter. He’s a very strong fighter that comes forward; that will take a couple punches to land one.
So it’s not just the jab. That’s why we’re doing a tremendous camp and making all the adjustments and training and strategy to have a great fight come September 16.
Q. Also, what areas do you feel Canelo has improved on in the last couple of years that makes him ready to win this fight?
EDDY REYNOSO: We are working like we always do on all aspects: Conditioning, counter-punching, attacking, movement.
I truly, truly believe that Canelo is a more complete fighter, a more intelligent fighter, and putting it all together on the 16th, that will let us come out with our hand raised.
Q. Because of his power, because he’s in middleweight, because of his style, is this a fight that is very difficult — but will make Canelo if he wins, the top? And does it bother you that Golovkin has a lot of support from the Mexican fans? And will this be the most difficult fight of Canelo’s career?
EDDY REYNOSO: Yes, absolutely. Without a doubt this is going to be the strongest, the toughest fight of his career at this point, and there’s no doubt that that’s what we’re preparing for.
As far as Golovkin having some Mexican fan support, in a country as big as America, for every one that supports Golovkin, there’s nine that support Canelo. So we’ll stick with the nine that support us, and, hey, the other one doesn’t matter. It’s okay.
Q. You both clearly respect each other very much. That’s admirable. I’d like both of you to name something that you like about your opposing trainer; something that you think he does well.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think what I respect most about the Reynoso’s as a team, Eddy being the head trainer, is the dedication to the sport.
I think it’s important to have these kinds of trainers in the sport because it just makes our sport greater and it allows it to grow the way it should. We’re perpetuating the knowledge that was taught to them, and it makes us better as a sport.
EDDY REYNOSO: No, I admire of Abel’s dedication and hard work and motivation to be in there training. When you do something that you love and are passionate about, that’s where the success comes from. And I also remember, and I’m grateful that awhile back, he left me have some mitts. So I thank him for that.
Q. And do both of you agree that Chepo is probably the better singer than either of you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Yes, I agree. (Laughter).
EDDY REYNOSO: Yes, absolutely. To compose music and to sing, nobody comes second to him.
Q. Golovkin’s style can accommodate into Canelo’s style, but he’s never faced somebody as strong of a puncher. Is that what worries you most about Golovkin, his power?
EDDY REYNOSO: Yes, Golovkin has a style that is pleasing. It makes fights pleasing and can easily be adapted to, as well. I think that we will see September 16 how it will adapt to Canelo’s style and provide a great fight.
And as far as the power, yes, absolutely that is something we have to be wary of. We respect his power. We know what his power is and we have to be wary of that.
Q. It’s been mentioned that it’s the most dangerous fight to date for Canelo Alvarez. What have you done different in camp? What has been done different to face him?
EDDY REYNOSO: The same thing we always do. Look, we always work on conditioning and we always work on strength and we always work on the strategy. That’s what’s gotten us to where we are today.
You know, we are going to continue doing that, working hard. We know what we have in front. The only thing that changes is the sparring partners depending on what style, and we’re rotating them often. Just like it’s very popular in Mexico right now, the rotations. That’s what we’re doing, just getting ready, preparing properly so that our hand will be raised come September 16.
Q. Is it true that for the Daniel Jacobs, you showed the strategy — the strategy was to show a false vulnerability so that Golden Boy Promotions can then say, look, he’s vulnerable, let’s go ahead and make the fight.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Absolutely not. You never take a chance on losing a fight, and by doing something ridiculous like that, we take a chance of the judges seeing it the other way.
Our fight against Canelo was made because Canelo felt that he was ready, Oscar felt that he was ready and the Reynosos felt that he was ready. But there was no intent on our part, on mine or the team’s part to look bad. We did what we needed to do against Jacobs to win. Jacobs was a difficult opponent, but by no means did we slack off. We want it to start but we want it to start at our best.
Q. Not all the titles are on the line — are they all on the line or are they not?
ABEL SANCHEZ: For us, he’s very proud of the four that he holds right now. He will be risking them on that night. What Canelo and Golden Boy choose to fight for, that’s up to them, but I respect whatever it is that they choose to do. That’s their option and their choice.
EDDY REYNOSO: Look, this has already been something that’s been cleared. Golden Boy sent out the alert to us. Now to us the only thing that’s left is train, prepare, get ready and win the fight.
Q. Abel, since it’s still not confirmed whether GGG is fighting for that WBC title or not, can you explain the drug testing situation? Is there drug testing? Will both fighters be taking part in the IBF day-of weigh-in?
ROBERTO DIAZ: There is a lot of testing. A lot of testing is not put in just only from an organization. There is a lot of testing. Both are fighting regardless if one’s fighting for the belt or not. Both fighters have been tested and are still being tested.
And as far as the IBF second-day weigh-in, yes, they are fighting for the IBF title and that’s the rule of the IBF.
Q. Can somebody, anybody touch on the undercard, is the undercard finalized and set? So far we only see Diego De La Hoya, Antonio Orozco, Ryan Martin; is there anything else to be expected?
ROBERTO DIAZ: Of course. When you have a great event, a great main event, obviously there’s going to be some great appetizers before that. But that will be coming out soon, very soon. Promise.
Q. Abel, question for you. You faced Andre Rozier who trained Curtis Stevens when Golovkin faced him, and of course, he was the trainer for Daniel Jacobs. They had an all-star team, yet you hold Canelo in higher regard than Daniel Jacobs, based on what you were saying earlier, because recently you were quoted as saying that Canelo was basically a slapper; that he wasn’t really a hard puncher, and if Gennady does what he is supposed to do, what you expect him to do, that the fight’s easy. Have you reconsidered that based on some things that you’ve seen recently?
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, absolutely not. What I’m saying is that Canelo is the next one in line and Canelo, when he gets in a hurry, tends to slap.
If you go back to the quote that I said, when he gets in a hurry he tends to slap. But Canelo is the most important and most difficult fight in front of us right now. Why? Because he’s in front of us. He’s on the 16th. If we were fighting Jacobs, I would say the same thing about Jacobs.
But it’s Canelo right now, and he is the most difficult to this point because he is next.
Q. Do you think that based on the opponents that Gennady faced up to this point in his career, that Canelo is a puncher with more variety, with more suddenness, more commitment? He was obviously upset with the notion that he was ducking Golovkin. And the improvement you’ve seen; this why you consider him the most prominent threat Golovkin has ever faced?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think Canelo is the best counter-puncher he’s faced to date. He may not be the puncher Curtis is with one shot or Lemieux, but he’s a heck of a better boxer than both of those guys. And not only that, he’s directly in front of us right now. So he is the most difficult guy. If we don’t get past him, it doesn’t matter who we get against the rest.
Q. Canelo was obviously upset with the notion that he wasn’t ready for Golovkin last year. He seemed to scoff at the notion that he was somehow avoiding Golovkin and everything else. With that being said, the year that’s passed and that’s ensued, are you seeing a fighter that’s more determined to come out here and prove definitively that he can beat Golovkin and is actually looking for a knockout?
EDDY REYNOSO: This is a fight that, look, it can’t be made overnight. And the ingredient that he has that motivates him is what he’s had since day one. He’s always wanted to be — to go down in history as one of the biggest and best fighters in history. He will continue to work hard and he will continue to go on.
Like I said, these fights aren’t made overnight. It took a little bit of time, but we’re here now.
Q. Abel, one of the things that I noticed in the Canelo fight when he fought Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was that he allowed himself to be pushed back, and he took a lot of his shots. Do you think that that is going to be an advantage for GGG? Do you think that he’ll be able to do a lot more damage on Canelo if he has Canelo on the ropes?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Let me just say this: Watching that fight, to me, wasn’t indicative of what Canelo would be doing against Golovkin.
Sometimes challenges to fighters at this level, there needs to be — there needs to be that mental challenge. And I think that Canelo is going to be well prepared and he’s going to be ready to do anything he needs to do to not allow Golovkin to push him around. But then that’s our job to make sure that that does happen. If that’s the case, we’ll be treated to a great fight.
Q. Eddy, in terms of Canelo in this fight, one of the things that we know Mexico has a history of great fighters. If Canelo is able to get a win over Golovkin, where would you rank Canelo over those illustrious fighters?
ROBERTO DIAZ: Obviously a fighter of this nature, of Canelo beating Golovkin, you know, it’s automatic that obviously he’ll go down as — and it’s not over. He’s still young. There’s still a lot more fights for him. But it would definitely go on in the record books as one of the biggest victories in boxing for Mexico.
Abel, do you want to make some closing comments?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Thank you, Robert, and thank you to the media that posed all the questions. Thank you to everybody listening. Again, we’re looking forward to a great fight on the 16th. I know Eddy and Chepo are going to have Canelo as ready as he can be. Hopefully we get the kind of response that this fight deserves. Thank you very much.
ROBERTO DIAZ: Thank you, Abel. Thank you very much. Tom, any closing comments?
TOM LOEFFLER: The expectations of this fight is tremendous. I know Abel wasn’t as out spoken as far as the one question, you know, if he thinks the winner of this fight is the best fighter in the sport.
I truly believe, when you have two warriors of this caliber, not only of their fighting style and ring IQ and the fighting caliber, but the market ability that both guys bring to the ring, I think the winner clearly would be the best fighter in the sport of boxing. Not only the fighters, but also I think the trainer that wins this fight, the winning trainer, would definitely be there for trainer of the year.
I think this promotion definitely has a lot riding on it, not only for the fighters and the trainers, but just the event itself has taken on a life of its own. We appreciate everyone for being on the call. Thanks, Robert.
EDDY REYNOSO: Thank you very much for joining us in this conference call and we will be seeing you guys on September 16.