LOS ANGELES -- Trainer Abel Sanchez runs a tight, disciplined camp, but knowing that his star pupil, unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin, had something coming up that he thought might interfere, he took him aside to talk to him about it.
Golovkin's wife, Alina, was pregnant with the couple's second child and due right around the time he was supposed to engage in the biggest fight of his life, a mega event against Mexican star Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) on Saturday (HBO PPV, 8 p.m. ET) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
"I asked him about this a couple of weeks ago," Sanchez told ESPN on Sunday afternoon at Dodgers Stadium, where Golovkin, promoting the fight, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Rockies-Dodgers game. "He said, 'Coach, we have a fighting coming up. The baby's gonna be here whether I'm there or not. We have a fight coming up and we're gonna concentrate on the fight.'"
Sanchez said he pressed Golovkin some, asking him what would happen when the baby was born? "'We'll take care of that later. Right now, the fight's coming up,'" Sanchez said Golovkin told him.
Now there is relief for Golovkin as well as his team as Alina delivered a healthy baby girl on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), though not present for the child's birth -- he had his final sparring session at Sanchez's Summit Gym in Big Bear Lake, California -- did get a chance to see his wife and new daughter on Friday night but he declined to go into details, or even give the baby's name.
Golovkin, with his focus on the fight, said he preferred not to talk about the birth.
"I talk about just my business, my boxing, not my family," he said to two reporters before throwing out the first pitch. "My focus is on boxing right now."
He did say, however, that "everything is good" with the baby and his wife. Golovkin has previously spoken often about his son, Vadim, and about how he enjoys watching him play hockey and how he typically takes weekends off at training camp to visit his family.
But GGG is so focused now on the fight with Alvarez -- by far the most significant and lucrative of his career -- that he said he didn't want to talk about his family on this day.
"I don't like to talk about my family. Let's talk about boxing. Give me one week. After week, I am different guy," Golovkin said, meaning he would be happy to discuss the baby once the fight against Alvarez was over.
With the fight so close, Golovkin is already in fight mode and it is clear he won't allow anything to knock him off track as he pursues his 19th consecutive title defense, one shy of tying Bernard Hopkins' all-time division record.
"Boxing is my business. I'm a professional athlete. I have to give 100 percent attention to my boxing. It's a very dangerous sport. I understand this," Golovkin said. "I like my life, my family (but) I can't relax (until after the fight) because (boxing) is too dangerous."
Sanchez admitted he was very happy that the baby was born not only before the fight but even before they traveled to Las Vegas.
"For me there is great relief that's over with," Sanchez said. "He was focusing on the fight before (the birth) but now I know for sure. Now we know there's nothing on his mind but Canelo. I know it was on his mind, but it's over with. She had it. I am extremely happy, are you kidding me? I thought it was going to happen when we were in Vegas. I'm glad it happened and she's healthy and everything's great."
Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter, told ESPN he was not concerned that the pregnancy or the baby's birth would throw off GGG's focus on the fight.
"Gennady compartmentalizes everything. He's focused 100 percent on the fight. So he's not going to let anything distract him," Loeffler said. "Timing is always something that you're never quite sure about on something like that, but he's very private on that. He didn't really give out many details. All I know he's 100 percent focused."
Sanchez said Golovkin's wife called him around noon on Friday and said she was ready to have the baby and was going to the hospital.
"I said, well go ahead, G, leave," Sanchez said. "He said, 'No, coach, we have to train.' So he trained that whole day. I weighed him before the training and he was 164, so I was real lenient with what we did in the gym. I wasn't really hard on him. We got finished about 4 and he said, 'Coach, I'm going home, I'll see you tomorrow.'"
The baby had been born around 4 p.m. and Sanchez said that Golovkin had a chance to see his wife and daughter that evening. They took care of the promotional obligations with the Dodgers first pitch on Sunday and then Golovkin planned to spend the rest of the day and Monday with his family before taking a private jet with other members of his team to Las Vegas on Monday night for fight week.
"To him this is business and it's just as important as having a baby," Sanchez said. "He's not having the baby. His wife is. So he feels like this is his job."