Monday, January 30, 2023  |


Abel Sanchez, Robert Garcia to go head-to-head twice


Although Abel Sanchez and Robert Garcia never have stared across the ring at one another as adversaries, the California-based trainers will do so once each over the next two months.

Sanchez will be in the corner of WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin on Oct. 18 as Golovkin pursues his 12th defense and his 18th straight knockout victory against the Garcia-trained Marco Antonio Rubio at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Rubio, in turn, will be after his seventh consecutive victory and his sixth stoppage during that run since falling by unanimous decision to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in February 2012.

Just over a month later on Nov. 29 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., Garcia will be chief second to Russian IBF featherweight titleholder Evgeny Gradovich against Sanchez’s Puerto Rican challenger Jayson Velez as the co-feature to WBO lightweight beltholder Terence Crawford’s defense against Raymundo Beltran.

“That’s never happened and the first time will be against Rubio. I’ve got Gennady fighting Rubio and that’s Robert’s guy. But the coaches are not going to fight; the fighters are going to fight,” said Sanchez.

“There’s no pressure as far as facing Robert or facing anybody because we’re not the ones who are going step between the ropes. It’s the fighters, you know? The kids are going to step between the ropes.”

Although Golovkin is heavily-favored against Rubio, the latter may be true more in favor of Gradovich against Velez.

“I’m more concerned with what Gradovich brings than what Robert brings and I’m sure that Robert feels the same way because the trainers can only do so much.There’s enough tape on Gradovich that we’re pretty sure of what he’s going to bring,” said Sanchez.

“But there’s not that much tape on Velez and Velez has been with me for about a year now. So, there’s been some changes and there’s been some progressions. So, hopefully, we’ve made some progressions in what we’ve tried to instill in Jayson and what we’ve tried to accomplish in the gym.”