On Tuesday, Canelo Alvarez withdrew from his much hyped rematch against Gennady Golovkin as he faced an extension of his temporary suspension that came down due to a pair of doping violations.
The two fighters were set for a May 5 pay-per-view rematch of their September 2017 bout, which ended in a draw amidst much controversy. Though it might not have been entirely apparent at the time, a couple of random urine tests taken by Alvarez on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 (which tested positive for the banned performance-enhancer clenbuterol) ultimately tanked the highly anticipated bout. ESPN adds that that suspension, which is likely to be doled out at a Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing scheduled for April 18, could likely be for a length of at least one year.
“We're going to have to cancel the May 5 rematch,” said Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez at a press conference on Tuesday. “As you all know there is a hearing on April 18 and it's extremely unlikely this will get properly resolved by then and we need enough time to promote this fight.
“Additionally, given the current regulations in Nevada we have been advised, and it is unfortunate, that Canelo won't be cleared to fight in May. We are hopeful this matter will be resolved and we are hoping Canelo will be cleared so we can reschedule the fight for August or September.”
Adding to that, Alvarez maintained his innocence (as he previously blamed his positive test on tainted meat) but simultaneously said he was ready to accept his punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“I am truly shocked about what has happened and for those who have doubts and suspicions about my integrity I have always been and always will be clean fighter,” Alvarez said through a translator. “I want to apologize to HBO, (sponsors) Tecate and Hennessy and all my other sponsors, the media and to everyone who is involved in the promotion of this event, and especially to the fans. I respect this sport. I will always be a clean fighter.”
As pointed out by ESPN, he did not apologize to his opponent, who said less than two weeks ago that it was obvious that Alvarez was cheating prior to their first fight.
“To be honest, what Golovkin or his team say doesn't bother me at all because, No. 1, they are not doctors, not experts,” added Alvarez. “I don't pay attention to them. It sounds more like an excuse that he doesn't want to fight me or he's scared.”
He also stood by his claim that contaminated meat was to blame for the positive test.
“I want to clarify the situation. I have always done tests with VADA before my fights. They are voluntary,” he said. “I have always agreed to them before my fights and they have always come back negative. I am a clean fighter. On this occasion the results showed small traces of clenbuterol. How did this happen, I don't know. Unfortunately, there is a public problem in my country of Mexico. Football, cycling, soccer, boxing — people have tested positive for clenbuterol. This can be transmitted through meat in Mexico. Contaminated meat is what caused this. That is my statement. This has happened in all sports.”
Alvarez's suspension for his first offense could earn him a one-year ban. However, ESPN adds that if he cooperates with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it is within their rules to chop that suspension in half. If that were to happen (and was retroactive to his first failed test on Feb. 17) he would be eligible to fight by Aug. 18, with a likely rematch to be scheduled for Mexican Independence Weekend in mid-September.
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