It didn't take coach Abel Sanchez long after meeting Gennady Golovkin in 2010 to be convinced the boxer could become middleweight champion of the world one day, and the trainer let him know as much. However, Sanchez could only guarantee his prediction of "GGG" could promise him one thing - that he would do whatever the coach said, without questioning.
Four years later, the Kazakhstan fighter is indeed a champion and his coach says it's a credit to the middleweight's humility and willingness to learn. "The first thing that struck me with him was his willingness to do whatever you ask him," Sanchez said in a recent interview with Thomas Gerbasi.
"After a kid with 350 amateur fights and nearly 20 professional fights comes into the gym and he's willing to do whatever you ask him, however different it may be from what he's used to, it was refreshing."
From the start, Sanchez had a mold he wanted Golovkin to fill, then break, with his power and pressure. "I said, 'this is what I'm going to mold your style to - [Julio Cesar] Chavez,'" he remembers.
"The difference is going to be that you can crack. You're going to knock people out with your body shots.' And he's never questioned anything: technique, movement, how to cut off the ring. Everything that I ask him to do, he does."
And though "GGG" is certainly no spring chicken as he moves towards possible stardom, his coach Sanchez isn't worried about the fighter's career pace. On Saturday, Golovkin will square up against Daniel Geale in New York City at Madison Square Garden, and his coach believes it is a perfect next bout.
"I think we're ahead of schedule if you look at how Floyd or Manny got to this point," Sanchez said.
"Geale really is a Godsend to me because he represents a formidable challenge for him. He's an accomplished fighter that Gennady takes serious."
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