By Steve Kim Updated on March 25, 2024

Back to the Summit

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As Arsen Goulamirian defends his WBA cruiserweight title at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California next Saturday night versus Gilberto Ramirez, a familiar face will be in his corner. That would be noted trainer, Abel Sanchez, who had actually retired from this racket not long ago.

Yeah, every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

"(Arsen) begged me for about six months and convinced me," Sanchez told last week. "So I'm going to do it."

For Sanchez, who has had a storied career working the corner for the likes of the Norris brothers(Terry and Orlin), Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Murat Gassiev and Gennadiy Golvkin, among others, it's the same job as he always done. But he notes that this time around he isn't quite as involved, no longer is he waking up to supervise the morning road work. 

Picture for Back to the SummitSteve Kim

"I'm just here for the training," said Sanchez, who thought his days training boxers had come to an end. He had had enough. It was time to retire, live the rest of his life away from the sport that he's been closely associated with since the 80's. 

So, did he miss it?

Sanchez answered, "I missed the guys -- I didn't miss the sport itself. I missed the camaraderie with the guys. I missed some guys more than others." He notes that Goulamirian and Gassiev were ''special guys'', ones that he would probably always work with if called upon. 

"The business part of it just soured me, no honor in this business," said Sanchez, with his trademark bluntness. "I'm 68 years old, I don't think I need to put up with it any more."

Picture for Back to the Summit Abel Sanchez

His illustrious run with Golovkin came to an end in 2019, as Sanchez refused to come off his usual percentage. He still had a solid stable of fighters at Big Bear. But really, the passion for the sport was eroding. No pun intended, it's difficult to come back down once you've reached the summit of the boxing game. 

When asked if the split with 'GGG' was the reason he started to close up shop, Sanchez stated, "that, and other things. I'm owed a lot of money by different managers and fighters that I don't even want to mention." (Sanchez made it clear that Golovkin did not have any debts with him.)

"I don't want that to happen to me, again," said Sanchez, who still kept a pact with Ben Lira by assisting him in the corner on fight nights. The last boxer he trained prior to Goulamirian was Serhii Bohachuk. Sanchez even sold 'the Summit Boxing Training Center' which he actually built himself. The buyer was Jaime Munguia, who he is now renting it from for this camp. "Isn't that crazy," Sanchez said with a chuckle.

Picture for Back to the SummitSteve Kim

Sanchez had actually retired from boxing back in 2001. And this being boxing, he returned later as Golovkin walked through his doors a decade later. He's been down this road before, and he says he will continue on with Goulamirian.

"He's 35 years old, so it's not like he's got that many fights ahead of him," Sanchez pointed out. "He wants three more fights, and I promised him I would give him three more fights if that's what was in front of him. So yeah, if he does that, I'll stay with him."

As for anything else after that?

"It's got to be the right opportunity for me, the right situation for me," he says, "I'd be more than happy to help somebody out."




This past Saturday night I attended the MarvNation card at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, California, where an energetic crowd saw a fast-paced 10-fight card inside the schools basketball gym. Some young boxers that seem to have some promise like Ruben Cazales, Michael Bracamontes, Andy Beltran and Joseph Abudy notched wins.

But what was the most memorable about on this card was this four round war between junior flyweights, Jesus 'Chuy' Diego, and Conner 'Kid Canelo' Goade, who just traded leather, non-stop for all four rounds of this contest. At times they just loaded up on hooks and dealt with the consequences later. While Diego won a hard-fought decision, Goade also deserves a tip of the cap for his efforts. 

Picture for Back to the SummitGerman Villasenor

This was one of the best four round fights I have ever seen.

Make no doubt about it, local club shows are still very important to the business of boxing. They help start and maintain careers, create opponents, and once in awhile you might even see a war.



Dalton Smith keeps moving up the 140 pound ladder with his body shot stoppage of veteran Jose Zepeda, who looks like has reached the end of his line...Mike Coppinger of ESPN is reporting that Jose Ramirez will face Rances Barthelemy on April 27 in Fresno at the Save Mart Center. Also on this card, which will be promoted by Golden Boy and streamed on DAZN, will be Vergil Ortiz, who will be paired with Thomas Dulorme. Yeah, this is tune-up central, here....Shakur Stevenson is slated to return on July 6 in Newark, New Jersey....I can be reached at

About Author
Back to the Summit
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.