WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez believes his fighter has surpassed RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward from a marketability standpoint and hinted that Ward has lost bargaining power toward being the upside in a match-up between the two.
In his last fight on July 26, Golovkin (30-0, 27 knockouts) scored a third round technical knockout over Daniel Geale at New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO.
Golovkin gained his 17th straight stoppage victory against Geale (30-3, 16 KOs), a former 160-pound titleholder, who represented Golovkin’s second win of 2014.
“I believe ‘GGG’ continues to grow,” said Sanchez, who ranks Golovkin behind only Sugar Ray Robinson and Bernard Hopkins among the greatest middleweights of all time. “As I have said, he keeps getting closer to those great fighters of yesteryear.”
Meanwhile, Ward has endured long stretches of inactivity due in part to successful surgery in early January 2013 to repair his injured right shoulder and to ongoing acrimony and litigation with promoter Dan Goossen.
Ward has not fought since winning a unanimous decision over Edwin Rodriguez last November.
“As for Ward, he has a situation with his promoter that is keeping him idle,” said Sanchez. “But if a fight with Gennady could be discussed, the fact is that Andre is on an island with the belief that he can demand terms. That makes it un-makeable and un-workable when he wants the major portion of the money.”
Ward ended a 14-month absence against Rodriguez, a bout that followed a 10th-round knockout victory over then-RING light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, whom Ward dropped once each in the third, fourth and final rounds in September 2012.
Prior to facing Dawson, Ward earned a unanimous decision over current IBF beltholder Carl Froch in the finals of Showtime’s “Super Six” tournament for THE RING, WBA and WBC belts in December 2011.
“Ward may have won the Super Six but has done nothing since, in fights or in publicity, to enhance his marketability,” said Sanchez. “The fact is that he can’t sell tickets at home or when he fought Rodriguez. Ward’s style and manner does not do well with the market as it is today.”
Sanchez said that he believed that Golovkin was being targeted for an October return to the ring with IBF beltholder Sam Soliman or contender Martin Murray among the names he believed were being considered by Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, which handles Golovkin.
But Loeffler said that neither Soliman nor Murray is likely to be available.
“Murray’s supposed to be fighting in Monte Carlo in October, and Soliman, I understand that he has a different fight scheduled, so we’re kind of going back to the same procedure, and that’s to get the best available guy who is willing to get into the ring with Gennady,” said Loeffler.
“But we do have a guaranteed HBO date, so we know that he will be fighting in October or November, and it’s just a matter of finding a guy to fight him…But there’s really no use in talking about a fight between Gennady and Andre Ward. He’s not calling us out, we’re not calling him out. He’s the best super middleweight and Gennady is the best middleweight.”