By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
In a Real Combat Media international exclusive, Abel Sanchez, the trainer of World Boxing Association World Middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, outlined the reasons why Gennady Golovkin will defeat challenger Osumanu Adama in their world title bout on February 1, 2013 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Abel Sanchez also spoke on his heavyweight fighter Mike Perez being in a near fatal bout with Magomed Abdusalamov at Madison Square Garden last month. Abel Sanchez was interviewed by Real Combat Media ringside after a six bout card promoted by 50 Cent and SMS Promotions at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York, on December 20, 2013.
Before the interview, Sanchez had a friendly cellphone chat with Joseph Awinongya, the trainer of Adama, telling Awinongya he looked forward to a good fight between Golovkin and Adama. Both trainers stated they feel their fighter will win. A follow up interview with Joseph Awinongya, trainer of Osumanu Adama, will be conducted by cellphone with Awinongya in his Joliet, Illinois gym and will appear on Real Combat Media later this week.
Real Combat Media: “Trainer Abel Sanchez, your date with your Kazakhstan fighter Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin versus Chicago’s Osumanu Adama of Ghana approaches.”
Abel Sanchez: “We got the call two weeks ago, so we’re just getting started. Golovkin came into training camp weighing 168 pounds. Gennady Golovkin is a professional. It makes it easy for the coaches.”
Real Combat Media: “Why did you choose to defend the WBA World Middleweight title against a fighter like Osumanu Adama of Ghana, the most dangerous world ranked fighter out of Ghana since Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson?”
Abel Sanchez: “Osumanu Adama is the only challenger that was available who we considered to be the best challenger available. That made Adama’s name always come up.”
Real Combat Media: “Have you seen Osumanu Adama’s IBF world title fight with Daniel Geale, hid first world title fight opportunity?”
Reader’s Note: Daniel Geale defended his IBF World Middleweight title with a 12 round unanimous decision over Adama on March 7, 2012, in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Geale won on the judge’s cards with scores of 118-110, 117-111, and 115-113. Adama cut Geale under the right eye with a punch which landed in round three. Geale lost the IBF title by split decision to Darren Barker in 2013, who in turn got knocked out and lost the IBF title Felix Sturm, who Daniel Geale had beaten.
Abel Sanchez: “Yes, I saw Osumanu Adama’s fight with Daniel Geale when it came on television.”
Real Combat Media: “It seemed Osumanu Adama had no game plan against Daniel Geale from the fourth round on, and trainer Joseph Awinongya could not get Adama back on track in that bout in the later rounds.”
Abel Sanchez: “Daniel Geale was Osumanu Adama’s first title challenge. Most guys in their first world title challenge try to do too much. They try to impress, instead of fighting their fight, which is where Osumanu Adama went wrong. Once you get that out of the way, I think a world class fighter will have people around him to explain to him what happened (what the fighter did wrong in the first world title challenge). The second time around, a world class fighter will be more relaxed and will just take the fight to the champion (in theory).”
Real Combat Media: “Felix Sturm blew away Darren Barker in less than two rounds at Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on December 7, 2013, knocking Barker down several times.”
Abel Sanchez: “Styles make fights. Felix Sturm had the world middleweight title for so long (Sturm has fought in 20 world middleweight title bouts of the WBA, WBO and IBF since 2003) he got mentally tired. His split decision loss to Daniel Geale (in Germany in September 2012) rejuvenated him.”
Real Combat Media: Gennady Golovkin went the distance in a professional bout three times early in his career, with Mehdi Bouadla (Win 8), Ian Gardner (Win 8), and Amar Amari (Win 8), all fighters with winning records.”
Abel Sanchez: “With 25 knockouts, Gennady does not rely on decisions from the judges (these days).”
Real Combat Media: Osumanu Adama versus Gennady Golovkin could be a long night in Monte Carlo for trainer Abel Sanchez.”
Abel Sanchez: “I definitely think it’s a difficult fight for Gennady, but I predict it will not be a long fight for Gennady. It’s Gennady’s time (for championship greatness and dominance in the middleweight division) right now.”
Real Combat Media: “Why do you think Gennady’s fight with Osumanu Adama won’t be difficult?”
Abel Sanchez: “Adama is a warrior, and he’s gonna be right there to fight. Adama has a style where he’s not gonna run (away). Adama is gonna stay in front of Gennady, where he’s gonna try to punch with Gennady and land his shots.”
Real Combat Media: “Gennady has a reputation as a power hitter.”
Abel Sanchez: “Gennady has power, but he has more boxing skills than most middleweights.”
Reader’s Note: Abel Sanchez did not elaborate on his use of the word ‘most’. Thus certain select world ranked middleweights of today (it must be presumed) are excluded from Sanchez’ statement. Whether ‘most’ refers to Sergio Gabriel Martinez, Peter Quillin, Osumanu Adama, Felix Sturm, Daniel Geale, Marco Antonio Rubio and others in the mind of Sanchez who have greater skills than Golovkin, we do not know.
Real Combat Media: “”Does Osumanu Adama have to take the fight to Golovkin to have a chance to win? You anticipate this approach by Adama and his trainer Joseph Awinongya?”
Abel Sanchez: “Of course! I think this approach will be Osumanu Adama’s downfall.”
Real Combat Media: “Abel Sanchez, make a prediction of the outcome between your fighter, WBA World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and challenger Osumanu Adama.”
Abel Sanchez: “My prediction? I think it’ll go into the second half of the fight (seven rounds or more). I think Osumanu Adama is skilled enough to avoid some of the early bombs thrown by Gennady, but eventually Adama will get worn down and will get caught with something that will hurt him.”
Real Combat Media: “Of all the opponents Golovkin has fought, including former IBF Light Middleweight World champion Kassim Ouma (Golovkin won by TKO in 10), will Osumanu Adama be the most difficult Gennady Golovkin has ever faced?”
Abel Sanchez: “No. Curtis Stevens was the most difficult.”
Real Combat Media: “But Curtis Stevens is 5’7”, nearly four inches shortly than Golovkin. Stevens is a short guy.”
Abel Sanchez: “Curtis Stevens has body strength, power and hand speed (as superior fighting assets), which makes him more dangerous than Osumanu Adama.”
Real Combat Media: “Osumanu Adama does not have these superior characteristics?”
Abel Sanchez: “Osumanu Adama has these characteristics, but Adama does not possess them as good as Curtis Stevens. Adama has better arm length, is a little taller than Stevens (5’11”) and is a better boxer than Curtis Stevens on the outside.”
Real Combat Media: “Will GGG get inside on Osumanu Adama?”
Abel Sanchez: “Oh, absolutely, Gennady will get inside on Adama. Gennady’s fights have not been long enough toshowcase his skills on the inside. When guys gointo a protective shell, like Curtis Stevens did after he got knocked down, it’s difficult for it to be a close fight fought on the inside, where they (the two fighters) showcase their skills on the inside.”
Real Combat Media: “Talk about give and take. Which fighter controls the tempo?”
Abel Sanchez: There’s got to be a give and take where the star guy is willing to control and take the fight to him, and not to potshot because a guy goes into a shell. They don’t fight back, and we’re never gonna see their skills. Eventually they’ll be someone who has the skills to fight back.”
Real Combat Media: “Your fight, Golovkin versus Adama on February 1, 2014, is less than three months after your defense over Curtis Stevens on November 2, 2013. Isn’t that an awfully quick turnaround for the next world title fight by a champion?”
Reader’s Note: Middleweight Curtis Stevens is also fighting a quick turnaround bout, and will be fighting a ten rounder against Patrick Majewski at Resorts International Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on January 24, 2013.
Abel Sanchez: “When we say stay busy fight, it doesn’t mean Adama is a stay busy opponent. Adama’s weakness is inactivity (A fact which Adama’s trainer, Joseph Awinongya, agreed with by cellphone after the Abel Sanchez interview was completed). Activity is a problem for the fighter of today. It wasn’t a problem for the fighter of yesterday. Fighters develop their skills by fighting, not by sitting, waiting, and posturing, which has hurt Adama.”
Reader’s Note: Osumanu Adama did not fight Grady Brewer until over a year had passed after the world title loss to Daniel Geale in March 2012.
Real Combat Media: “Do you think the shorter length of fights for fighters like Gennady Golovkin is a bad thing?”
Abel Sanchez: “Gennady is not a bad fighter. He’s getting better all the time. We just need (better opponents) and fights that last longer (to better showcase Gennady’s talents).”
Real Combat Media: “How do you feel about fighting February first in Monte Carlo? Carlos Monzon defended his world middleweight title against Nino Benvenuti in 1971.”
Abel Sanchez: “It’s a beautiful place for a boxing card. I just want Gennady to fight. I just want him to stay busy, so if it’sin Monte Carlo, it’s still a ring! When you are the number one middleweight fighter in the world, people have to provide you with the resources you need. I’m always preparing Gennady and my other fighters. I’m not going to Monte Carlo for a vacation. I want Gennady to stay busy until we can find enough funding (for purses) so we can flight guys like Felix Sturm, Daniel Geale, Peter Quillin, the best fighters in the division.”
Real Combat Media: “What about fighting Sergio Gabriel Martinez? Is he afraid of GGG?”
Abel Sanchez: “Martinez wants to drop down to 154 pounds to fight Miguel Cotto. He doesn’t want nothing to do with Golovkin. I don’t blame him.”
Real Combat Media: “What is the best edge do you have with Golovkin over Adama?”
Abel Sanchez: “What’s gonna hurt Adama when he fights Golovkin is his inactivity. How long has it been since his last fight with Doel Carrasquillo? Six months? That’s what we are trying to avoid with Golovkin.”
Reader’s Note: Management and promotional team Wasfi Tolaymat and Cynthia Tolaymat of Chicago Fight Promotion, who handle Adama, complained bitterly Adama was womanizing and at least 25 pounds overweight after the Carrasquillo fight, a charge trainer Joseph Awinongya and Adama both vehemently denied. Adama signed for the Golovkin bout in Chicago while trainer Joseph Awinongya was in Val-d’Oise, France, where his welterweight Ahmed El Mousaoui won the French Welterweight title by ten round split decision over Frank Horta on November 30, 2013, at the Esplanade de Paris. According to Wasfi Tolaymat, the contract Adama willingly signed on his own without Awinongya present includes a three fight deal Adama must honor if he beats Golovkin.
Real Combat Media: Abel, you also train other fighters, most notably 20-0 Cuban southpaw heavyweight Mike ‘The Rebel’ Perez, now fighting out of Cork, Ireland, who will fight 28-1 Carlos Takam of France at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, on January 18, 2014. On November 2, 2013, Perez won a ten round decision over Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia, and after the bout Abdusalamov went into a coma and underwent brain surgery. Abdusalamov is not out of a coma and is in rehabilitation, a long process.”
Abel Sanchez: “It was a brutal heavyweight fight. They both took some brutal shots. I went to see Mago in his hospital room in Manhattan today. I think Mago is gonna live, but his quality of life won’t be the same as it used to be. Mike has gone to camp for the Takam fight. Mike called me today to go see Mago, in fact Mike demanded it. Mike is donating part of his purse from the Carlos Takam bout for Mike’s care. Mago can see you in both eyes, he winks at me. He can move his right hand and right foot. He just can’t speak.”