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Canelo suspended temporarily, Golovkin still wants fight

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez received a temporary suspension until April 10 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Friday, Gennady Golovkin is still very much interested in facing him on May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Commission gave Canelo what amounts to be a slap on the hands with his 2 ½ week suspension until April 10th for his 2 positive tests for clenbuterol. The positive tests or Canelo were on last month on February 17 and February 20.

The temporary suspension is the Nevada Commission’s way of letting the boxing public know that they’re doing something about Canelo’s two positive tests for clenbuterol. The April 10th meeting with the Commission will be the true decider of what happens with the 27-year-old superstar Canelo. While it’s not expect that the Nevada Commission will give Canelo a longer suspension at that time, it’s possible. There’s a lot of pressure on the Commission to make the right decision in Canelo’s case.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler says if Canelo receives a suspension by the Commission, then they’ll look in the direction of WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders for GGG’s next fight. They’re not going to sit and wait for Canelo’s suspension to be completed before they fight again.

The Nevada Commission will have important questions for Canelo when the April 10 meeting takes place. Canelo will need to have some good answers to their Commission members’ questions, because they’re going to be asking him stuff that could get him suspended a second time. This first suspension that Canelo was given is really nothing, because it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of him fighting Golovkin on May 5, and doesn’t keep him from training. Usually when fighters are given suspensions, they last months and it impacts their careers.

With Canelo, he’s been given just a 2 ½ week suspension. What does that tell you? He’s a popular guy, and he’s not being treated in strict manner by the Nevada Commission. Seeing a popular fighter receiving temporary suspensions makes it look like it’s not a real suspension in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.

The Canelo vs. Golovkin rematch could still be canceled, but it’s not likely. There are a lot of people paying attention to the Nevada Commission right now, and they’ve got to play this by the book. If they’re going to let Canelo slide, then they’ll need good reasons for doing so. Canelo’s meat excuse for his positive tests might make it difficult for the Commission to clear him if his test levels are higher than what you would see for the typical athlete that has eaten contaminated meat.

If the fight is allowed to take place on May 5th, then Canelo will be tested frequently by VADA to make sure he’s clean and no testing positive any longer for clenbuterol.

Canelo, 27, will serve his short suspension and then meet with the Nevada Commission on April 10, and they’ll then likely clear him to fight GGG for their May 5th rematch. You hate to say that the Nevada Commission is pushing his positive tests under the rug, but if he’s cleared, then the perception from boxing fans will be that the Commission did exactly that. If this was another fighter less popular than Canelo, would he be given only a short 2 ½ week suspension for testing positive for clenbuterol? Canelo is a big money maker, and it would hurt Nevada if he’s suspended ad unable to fight GGG on May 5.

Golovkin still wants the fight, and the Nevada Commission are not likely going keep Canelo suspended for long. There’s too much money for the state of Nevada to make from the fight. There are no other fights on the horizon in Nevada that can bring in the same kind of money unless Floyd Mayweather Jr. comes back, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be fighting in 2018.

Canelo’s excuse for his positive test for clenbuterol was contaminated food he eat while training for the GGG fight in Mexico.

Golovkin wants the fight with Canelo, because he needs to fight him again to prove that he’s the better fighter after the previous fight they had in September. But more than that, the money that Golovkin can get from a second fight with Canelo is more than he’ll likely make for the remainder of his career if he never faces Canelo again after their May 5th rematch.

”A lot of people thought they would just shove this under the rug because they [Nevada Commission] wanted the fight to happen, but with this investigation and the action they’ve taken today, they’ve proven otherwise,” Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler said to Yahoo Sports News.

The Canelo-Golovkin 2 rematch is a $60 million fight. It’s extremely doubtful the Commission will suspend Canelo again when they meet with him on April 10. Canelo will likely be given a lecture on April 10 at the next Commission hearing, and then cleared to fight Golovkin as scheduled on May 5th. There’s way too much money for this fight to be canceled. As I said before, if Canelo was just a regular fighter, it’s hard to see him not being suspended again, but he’s not a regular fighter. He’s a big money-maker. Of course, if Canelo tests positive a second time for a performance enhancing drug, then the Nevada Commission will be forced to suspend him.

Canelo needs to consider agreeing to year round testing for PEDs, because that’s one way for him to show the boxing public that he’s a clean fighter. With year round testing, Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy can tell the fans that he’s a clean fighter and that he’s tested constantly.

”We met today and Bob said they had to give him the suspension per their regulations, but he pointed out that Canelo complied with every request and that he passed multiple tests given to him since the failures. So they’ll have the hearing on April 10 and we’ll see what happens then. But Gennady definitely wants to fight and he’s going to proceed as if the fight is still happening,” Loeffler said.

Golovkin is willing to let it go about Canelo’s positive test, as long as he’s testing clean for the remainder of the camp. There’s only 6 weeks left before May 5, so there’s not much time to go before this contest is supposed to take place. Another positive test for Canelo will sink the fight and likely result in a lengthy suspension for the Golden Boy star.

Golovkin deserved the decision against Canelo last September in the eyes of a lot of people in the boxing world. Now on top of that questionable decision, Golovkin has to deal with Canelo’s positive drug tests, and the possibility that their fight could get canceled by the Commission on April 10. Golovkin is the victim here.

If the rematch takes place on schedule, Golovkin says he wants to knock Canelo out. He’s going to have to do a better job of cutting off the ring on Canelo if he wants to knock him out. Canelo was running a lot last September, and Golovkin never figured out how to stop him from running.

Hopefully this isn’t just a publicity stunt by the Nevada Commission, because if Canelo’s positive test levels suggest that he wasn’t eating contaminated meat, then he needs to be suspended so he can learn from it.

“He [GGG] is training to fight May 5th. If it’s not against Canelo, we’ll figure out the best course of action at that time. We’d look at Billy Joe Saunders,” Loeffler said to ESPN.com.


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