Abel Sanchez leads Murat Gassiev into the WBSS
Trainer Abel Sanchez was on his way to LAX this past Monday afternoon, to catch a flight to Newark, New Jersey, where his man, IBF cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev faces Krzysztof Wlodarkczyk in the quarterfinals of the “World Boxing Super Series” cruiserweight tournament, on Saturday night.
In regard to this match-up, he told UCNLive.com, while en route to the airport, “First of all, I have a young guy who’s very aggressive and very much wants to go all the time, so we have to use that against the older fighter, the experienced fighter. I think aggressiveness will be a key in the fight because obviously (Wlodarkczyk) has a lot more experience than my guy does but I think, if we are aggressive, we may catch up with him and connect with a couple of shots, hurt him and stop him in the middle of the fight.”
Sanchez hasn’t hesitated to compare Gassiev, 24-0 (17), to his best-known charge, unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin. And his reputation as a pure power-puncher was cemented with his devastating knockout of Jordan Shimmell last year. It was a frightening display and one that got fans and pundits talking.
Their Polish foe has been on the world-class scene for years and was the WBC cruiserweight titlist from 2010 to 2014. Experience is certainly on his side, with a record of 53-3-1 (37), but one must wonder if he’s a bit long on the tooth, at age 36.
The 24-year-old Gassiev is part of the newest wave of the Russian revolution in boxing. Sanchez says of his pupil, “Every one of these Russian kids – and I think it’s because of where they come from and what they have over there – they listen to everything. If you get them when they’re young like that, they’re so easy to educate and to talk to because they’re going to do what you ask because they realize the opportunities that they are getting here.
“Unfortunately, for the kids here, they think it’s a right we have to train them. We have to call them and we have to treat them like superstars. Those kids that are coming from there don’t have that attitude, so it’s easy.”
Should Gassiev come out victorious, he will face Yunier Dorticos in the semifinals. Back on September 23, the Cuban blew out Dmitry Kudryashov in two rounds.
When asked to assess that potential fight, Sanchez stated, “I thought they both looked awfully slow, to me, on the tape. But I don’t know if the tape was slowed down or whatever but I thought (Dorticos) landed a good shot. You knew the guy who landed the first significant punch was going to win because they are both good punchers.”
Speaking of Golovkin, Sanchez hasn’t really spoken to him since his September 16 draw against Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas.
“I leave these guys alone. They have a life of their own,” explained Sanchez, who has a busy stable of fighters to train at the Summit Gym. “Hopefully he’s going to come to New Jersey. He has some stuff to move around to get the days free but, if he does come, we’ll have a little time to talk. I really have not had a chance to sit with him other than quick chit-chat, ‘How’s the baby? How’s your mom?’ That kind of thing because he went home to visit his mom.
“Other than that, I have not spoken with him.”
In fact, Sanchez still hasn’t watched the fight.
“No, I’m going to sit down with Gennady and watch the tape. But really the only reason why I’m going to sit down with Gennady is because we have to plan for the next one. Usually I don’t watch these fights after because it’s a win. It’s gone. There’s nothing I can do about what was done and how it was fought but we can do something about the next one, if we fight the same guy,’ ‘said Sanchez, who believes Chapter Two is an inevitability.
“I think boxing needs that fight but ‘Canelo’ has nowhere else to go,” he opined. “Who’s he going to fight? He’s going to fight (Jermall) Charlo? He’s going to fight (Daniel) Jacobs? Who’s he going to fight to get him the kind of fight Gennady represents? Not only in tix sales but in pay-per-view revenue?
“I think Gennady is the guy he has to meet not only for those reasons but I think the Mexican fans want him to back up what he was saying and hopefully fight a better fight than what they saw the last time.”
The card this weekend takes place from the Prudential Center…The WBSS announced that its cruiserweight final will take place in Saudi Arabia…So it looks like the WBC has mandated a fight between Francisco Vargas and Mickey Roman, which will take place on December 9…There is a card on CBS Sports Network, on Thursday, featuring Toka Kahn Clary, from Atlanta, promoted by Real Deal Boxing…That Gordon Hayward injury was cringe-worthy…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.