Canelo Alvarez withdraws from May 5 rematch with Gennady Golovkin
In what was no longer much of a surprise, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions announced on Tuesday afternoon, in Los Angeles, that Alvarez – who tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol and has a disciplinary hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 18 – would be withdrawing from his rematch with unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
The session began with Golden Boy President Eric Gomez stating, “Unfortunately we’re going to have to cancel the May 5th rematch. As you all know, there’s a hearing date of April 18th and it’s extremely unlikely this matter is going to get resolved by them properly. And obviously we need enough time to promote a fight of this magnitude.”
Since Alvarez was “temporarily suspended,” the promotion had come to a grinding halt with the uncertain status of the event, which was to have taken place at the T-Mobile Arena.
“Additionally given the current regulations in Nevada, we have been advised that it was unlikely that Canelo would be cleared to fight in May,” continued Gomez. “Having said that, we are hopeful that this matter will be resolved no later than the current April 18th date and we’re hoping that Canelo will be cleared to fight sometime in the summer, allowing us to reschedule the fight for possibly August or September.”
Then Alvarez read a long statement, translated by his attorney Ricardo Cestero:
“I am truly shocked by what has happened and I lament that his has led people to have doubts and suspicions about my athletic integrity. I have always been a clean fighter and I always will be a clean fighter. I want to apologize for all of the inconvenience that this has caused to HBO, MGM, Tecate, Hennessy, all my other sponsors, the media and to everyone that is involved in the promotion of this event and especially to the fans. To them I want to say: I have not let you down. I respect the sport and I will always be a clean fighter.
“Now I’d like to clarify the situation. I have always done tests before my fights with VADA (the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association). They are voluntary and despite (those) being voluntary, I have always agreed to do them for every single one of my fights. I have asked that they do these tests, and they’ve always come back negative. I am a clean fighter. On this occasion, the results showed small traces of clenbuterol in my system. I know many of you are asking yourselves how this has happened if I didn’t intentionally take clenbuterol. Unfortunately there is a public problem in my country, Mexico. Over the last few years, many athletes from many sports – cycling, football, soccer and boxing – have tested positive for clenbuterol after eating meat in Mexico. This substance can be transmitted into humans through meat in Mexico and contaminated meat is what caused this test.”
Dr. Miguel Angel Nazul, the vice president of the Mexican Federation of Sports Medicine, who was also on the dais with Alvarez, Gomez and Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya, explained that contaminated meat – which is what Alvarez claims triggered his positive test – is a systemic problem in Mexico.
Alvarez continued, “Since the positive tests, I have submitted to various additional tests with the same laboratory and those results have all come back negative. To be clear, I am a clean fighter. However, I respect the Nevada State Athletic Commission and I understand that, under its laws and its regulations, there are certain penalties and certain sanctions, even for unintentional positive results and even for consuming meat. The reality is that, unfortunately, as a result of this, the rematch will have to wait a little longer.
“I truly am disappointed and upset because I will not be able to participate in the rematch against Golovkin. I was very much looking forward to this fight. I had been training and I wanted to get in the ring and prove, once and for all, that I am the best middleweight in the world. I am sad and I feel powerless that I can’t make this fight happen at this point.”
Later on, the 27-year old Mexican star stated, ”I will accept and respect any decision of the commission and I will wait for the time in which I can have this great fight. It saddens me that people are accusing me of doing something that is improper. I have always been a fighter of integrity. I feel calm and proud of the career that I have, a career in which I’ve never taken anything illegal and I’ve never done anything to disappoint or disrespect the sport of boxing – nor will I ever do so.
“From here on out, I will take increased precautions with future fights and I will ensure that this will never happen again.”
Cestero noted that they had given documentation in the form of credit card statements and receipts “of what Canelo ate and when in the days leading up to those facts, and so, the commission has that information and we have provided it and that is consistent with the way WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) and other organizations have dealt with this issue in the past, where they ask the athlete for the information and it is provided.”
Golovkin hasn’t been shy about stating his opinion about Alvarez’s positive drug test. He’s made it clear that he believes this was no accident. “To be honest, what Golovkin and his team say doesn’t bother me at all,” said Alvarez, when asked about it. “Because number one: They’re not doctors; they’re not the experts. I don’t really pay attention to them. It sounds more to me like an excuse of not wanting to fight me, like he’s scared.”
So while Alvarez and Golden Boy look ahead to April 18 to see what awaits them, Golovkin will move forward with a fight on May 5.
For the time being, only Golovkin is fighting on May 5 and is currently eligible to do so on that date.
“I am looking forward to returning to Las Vegas for my 20th title defense and headlining my first Cinco De Mayo event on May 5 It is time for less drama and more fighting,” stated Golovkin.
During this session, I had an opportunity to ask Dr. Nazul if he would advise, given the current situation that exists, high-profile athletes with the economic means, like Alvarez, who train in Mexico, to ship in their meat.
He answered, through GBP matchmaker Robert Diaz, “Once in camp, I recommend that no meat is eaten. That’s very difficult; that is very difficult but those are in cases once they are in training camp. Outside of training camp, whether they’re training, getting ready, you can eat whatever you want. Your diet is not limited.
”Once you get into training camp, once the date’s near, yes, we try to avoid that.”
So as Manny Pacquiao is set to face Lucas Matthysse on July 15, in Malaysia (Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse a Done Deal For July 14) will really he do so without trainer Freddie Roach?…The rematch betwen WBA featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares is set for June 9, at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles…The Amir Khan-Phil Lo Greco fight on April 21 will be on the ESPN+ app…The L.A. Rams are putting together a dream team…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.