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Canelo Alvarez withdraws from May 5th fight against Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Jeff Aranow: Former two division world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has pulled out of his scheduled May 5th rematch with middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. The Canelo-GGG 2 rematch is now officially off.

The 27-year-old Canelo met with the boxing media on Tuesday to let them know that he’s withdrawing from his second fight with Golovkin that was to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. HBO pay-per-view had been planning on televising the rematch.

Canelo getting a 1-year suspension would be the worst case scenario, because it would keep him out of action until May of 2019. Canelo has already been out of the ring for 7 months since his last fight with GGG last September.

If Canelo doesn’t fight until next May on Cinco de Mayo in 2019, then he’ll have been out of the ring for a year and a half. Canelo facing Golovkin at that time would be risky given long period of inactivity, but he can’t afford to wait until September 2019 to fight him. That would be 2 years since the first Canelo-GGG fight in September 2017. That’s too much time. Canelo would have to fight Golovkin next May if he’s given a 1-year suspension by the Nevada Commission on April 18.

Canelo is facing a potential ban of 1 year for his 2 failed tests for the banned substance clenbuterol. The Nevada State Athletic Commission has filed a complaint against Canelo following his two positive tests during VADA’s drug testing during February. Canelo allegedly tested positive on February 17 and February 20th. Canelo will be meeting with the Nevada Commission in a little over two weeks from now on April 18 at a hearing.

The Commission might suspend Canelo from boxing from 6 to 12 months. This would be Canelo’s first time offense for the positive test prohibited substance, which could lead to him being suspended for 1 year by the Commission. There’s also a potential that Canelo could receive more than a 1 year suspension. That’s not likely though. If Canelo cooperates with the Commission, they could reduce his suspension to 6 months, according to Dan Rafael. Just what Canelo would need to do in terms of cooperation with the Nevada Commission is the big question.

The good news for Canelo is the suspension, if given to him, would effectively start from the time of him testing positive for the first time for clenbuterol, which would be February 17. That means the suspension would end in mid-August, if he Canelo were to receive a 6-month reduced suspension from the Nevada Commission. Canelo could then fight in September of 2018 on the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend against Golovkin in a rematch or against whoever he wishes. Given how much money Canelo can make fighting Golovkin, it’s hard to see him passing up the chance to fight him a second time.

Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions need to take advantage of the interest in a Canelo-Golovkin fight while it’s still there. If Canelo and Golden Boy wait too long before taking the rematch with GGG, the boxing public could lose interest in that rivalry, especially if one of them loses or starts to look like a faded fighter.

Golovkin and Canelo fought to a controversial 12 round draw last year in September in Las Vegas. Many boxing fans thought Golovkin did more than enough to rate the win, but there were and still are a lot of people that believe Canelo did enough to deserve a draw or a win. It was subjective thing. If boxing fans were more impressed with Canelo’s cleaner and harder landing shots, then they saw him winning the fight. Golovkin was mostly jabbing in the first 7 rounds.

It wasn’t until the last 5 rounds that Golovkin began to go after Canelo with power shots. Golovkin wasn’t pulling the trigger on his power shots. He looked confused and hesitant to throw shots for fear that he might miss and/or get countered by Canelo. Golovkin needs to be more aggressive and willing to let his hands go in the rematch if he wants to beat Canelo without the potential of a second draw or a loss.

If Canelo and Golovkin face each other again, then it’s quite possible that Golden Boy use their negotiation muscle to have the fight take place in Las Vegas once again, and that means that boxing fans will be pulling for Canelo. It’s hard for judges o give the visiting fighter the victory when the fans are cheering for the other fighter. Judges are only human. Golovkin has got to do a lot more if he wants the rematch this time because Canelo will have the advantage with the crowd, the speed, defense, youth and possibly even the power.

Canelo is blaming his two failed tests for clenbuterol on contaminated meat he ate while training in his home country of Mexico. This is a widespread problem in Mexico with the producers of cattle using the substance on their animals to make their muscle leaner. Unfortunately for the consumers that eat the meat, they wind up with clenbuterol in their bodies. It’s unclear why the government of Mexico isn’t cracking down on the cattle producers to stop them from using this substance on their animals.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler already has a head start in looking for a replacement for May 5th. Middleweight contender Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) is viewed as the likely guy to take the place of Canelo on May 5th. O’Sullivan has a lot of punching power and an entertaining fighting style, but he’s failed in the past in defeats to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. The 33-year-old O’Sullivan is from Ireland, and not well-known to the American boxing fans that watch boxing on an infrequent basis.

”GGG is training and preparing for May 5 and that’s what he wants to do — fight May 5,” Loeffler said to ESPN.com.

Now that Canelo has officially pulled out of the GGG fight, it makes it easier for Loeffler to go after the replacement, which unfortunately will likely be O’Sullivan. Former two time junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade is also an option, and someone that Loeffler could easily get if he’s willing to pay him good money. However, Andrade is a southpaw, and Golovkin hasn’t been training to fight one of those types of guys. Andrade, 30, volunteered to fight only out of the orthodox stance, but obviously he was kidding and there would be no way that a fight like that would happen. If Golovkin fights Andrade, it’ll be with him fighting in his normal southpaw stance, and it might be a tough fight for GGG to have to deal with the different stance.


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