Canelo Alvarez withdrew from his scheduled May 5 rematch with Gennady Golovkin on Tuesday in the wake of two positive doping tests and in anticipation of a ban from the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Alvarez, whose bout with Golovkin was set to be one of the biggest boxing matches of 2018, showed traces of the prohibited steroid clenbuterol in his system in February. He claimed the results were caused by eating tainted Mexican meat during a training stint in Guadalajara.
Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez confirmed that the match-up would be cancelled. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has indicated his fighter will still fight on May 5, against an opponent still to be determined.
“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,” said Golovkin.
“It is time for less drama and more fighting.”
Alvarez expressed his frustration at the situation, but accepted that the withdrawal was necessary.
“I am sad and feel powerless that this fight cannot happen now,” Alvarez told reporters. “I have nothing to hide. I want to be transparent in this process. I will do whatever I need to do to demonstrate I have never (deliberately) taken this substance.
“I have always operated as a clean fighter. I have always taken clean substances. I respect the sport unconditionally and would never do anything to tarnish something I have worked so hard for and given so many sacrifices for.
“It saddens me that people are accusing me of doing something improper. From here on out, I will take increased precautions to ensure this will never happen again. I am ready for what comes in the future.”
Alvarez hopes that by taking pre-emptive action and by appearing to pay respect to the commission, his ban will be capped at six months, a provision permissible under Nevada rules.
If that is the case, and given that a ban would be backdated to the date of the positive test, a September showdown with Golovkin would still be a viable option. September’s Mexican Independence Day weekend, along with the Cinco De Mayo weekend in May, are considered to be the two most significant fight dates in boxing.
The matter came to a head on March 20, when Golovkin met with reporters at his Big Bear, Calif., training camp, and launched into a blistering attack on Alvarez’s character. The Kazakh fighter accused his rival of being a long-term drug cheat and even insisted Alvarez had doped in the build-up to their first fight.
Golovkin’s comments appeared to spark an urgent reaction from Nevada chiefs, who had launched an investigation into Alvarez’s case.
Article courtesy of the Detroit Free Press