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Canelo Alvarez: Fight Coach Sounds Off on These Wacky Catchweights

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Leave it to Abel Sanchez to speak his mind.

Sanchez, who brought Terry Norris into prominence during the 1990s, currently trains fearsome IBO/WBA/IBF middleweight champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin (34-0, 31KOs) and thinks all of these catchweight stipulations today is absolute foolishness.

In fact, a proposed catchweight is thus far an obstacle to making the biggest fight in boxing, Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin.

Both fighters are champions in the 160 lb division yet Team Alvarez is lobbying for a 155 lb catchweight limit.

"We don't need a new division," stated trainer Sanchez.

There are too many already, 17 of them. We don't need a Canelo division."

So I can't have any respect for [Canelo as middleweight champion], because of all the other fighters who fight at that weight and sacrifice to get to that weight [of 160]," Sanchez recently told BoxingScene.com..

Sanchez was also critical of fight legend Miguel Cotto who Canelo dethroned in November. Cotto, a small middleweight who campaigned as a 140lb jr welterweight during the first half of his career, previously imposed catchweight limits on middleweight opponents Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale.

So what's the deal and what is a catchweight anyway?

A term used in boxing and mixed martial arts, a catchweight (or catch-weight) is the weight limit for a fight that does not fall in line with the traditional limits for weight classes.

Typically, the A-side fighter (in this case, Canelo) will use his leverage to negotiate a catchweight if his team believes it will give him an advantage, especially if he is the naturally smaller combatant.

How can a catchweight benefit a fighter?

There are several reasons Canelo Alvarez & Co. want to impose a catchweight for Golovkin.

As the presumably bigger fighter, naturally, a catchweight would force Golovkin into having to prepare for two opponents - Canelo and the scale.

When a fighter like Golovkin is forced to enter the ring extra light, he is must make the catchweight, in addition to general strategy and preparation, a primary focus in the weeks leading up to the bout. As a result, it can disrupt the flow of his normal training regimen and shift the focus from his opponent to the scale.

Also keep in mind, when most fighters (non-heavyweights) on this level weigh-in prior to the fight, they are in excellent shape, practically starved and already weight drained or close. 

...Forcing a fighter to lose an additional three or four pounds may be like sending them on a trip through h*ll.

Most reading this could easily probably shed three or four pounds in 24 to 96 hrs but that's certainly not the case for a fighter who has reached maximum shedding.

In the end, catchweights give a bigger fighter with less leverage than his opponent something else to worry about during training and can have a weakening effect on the larger fighter come fight time.

Proponents for catchweight stipulations will argue it makes things more fair when one fighter is naturally bigger and stronger than the other.

What are your thoughts on catchweights?


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