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Canelo: “I have always been a clean fighter’

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez made it official on Tuesday in pulling out of his May 5th rematch against Gennady Golovkin at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo met with the media in a news conference in downtown Los Angeles and was asked questions.

Canelo was given a chance to talk about his thoughts about his 2 positive tests for clenbuterol, which has caused him to be suspended temporarily by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Just because Canelo has pulled out of the May 5th fight with Golovkin doesn’t mean that he still doesn’t need to meet with the Nevada Commission on April 18. He still needs to do that, and he’s not looking good for him.

Canelo is probably going to be given a 6 month suspension at the minimum. I don’t see Canelo pleading guilty though. If the Commission is waiting for Canelo to admit guilt, they might be waiting for a long time. Canelo admitting that he took the clenbuterol to get an edge against Golovkin is just not likely to happen on April 18th. Hopefully, the Commission members aren’t insisting that Canelo do that when they decide whether to reduce his suspension or not. In that case, Canelo could receive a six month suspension for negligence.

“I am truly shocked by what has happened. I don’t want anyone to have doubts about my integrity. I have always been a clean fighter and will be a clean fighter,” Canelo said. “I want to apologize to HBO, 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. To my fans, I have not let you down. I will always be a clean fighter,” Canelo said.

The question that a lot of boxing fans have about Canelo is why pull out of the contest with Triple G if you’re innocent? Many fans would have preferred that Canelo stuck it out and tried to get cleared for the May 5th fight with Golovkin. Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez made a comment that there wouldn’t be enough time to market the May 5th rematch properly once the April 18 hearing with the Nevada Commission was done, but I think there was more than enough time. The fight sells itself.

We heard that before with Golden Boy choosing not to have a media tour for the rematch. They figured the fight would sell itself, and they’re right about that. Three weeks would be more than enough to market the Canelo-Golovkin fight and bring in a huge amount of PPV buys.

The one person that Canelo left out is Gennady Golovkin. If there’s anyone that Canelo should be apologizing to, it’s Golovkin, because he’s the one he was supposed to be fighting on May 5. Because of Canelo’s 2 positive tests for clenbuterol, Golovkin now won’t be fighting him on that date. Golovkin will miss out on that huge payday, and he’s put in all that training time specifically for Canelo’s fighting style. You can argue that Canelo should have included Golovkin by name in his apology rather than naming his sponsors one by one and saying “everyone in the promotion.”

Canelo says he hasn’t let his boxing fans down, but never the less; he won’t be fighting on May 5th. Canelo has pulled out of the GGG rematch, so he’s not going to be fighting on that date, and there’s a very good chance he’ll be suspended by the Nevada Commission in their hearing on April 18. What Canelo has going for him now is he showed that he’s will to work with the Nevada Commission by meeting with the media, talking about his situation, and pulling out of the fight. As long as Canelo is willing to work with the Commission, they could look at the favorably if they choose to give him a 1-year suspension. If the Commission reduces Canelo’s suspension to 6 months, then he’ll be able to fight in September against Golovkin.

It’s unclear whether it was Canelo’s idea to speak with the media and pull out of the Golovkin fight. Canelo pulling out of the fight with Golovkin himself, gave him control at least in that aspect. Canelo isn’t likely going to be in control of his fate at the April 18 hearing with the Nevada Commission. If they’re going to decide Canelo’s case based on the fact that he tested twice for a banned substance clenbuterol, then the only thing that will be decided in this meeting is whether Canelo’s 1-year ban will be reduced to 6 months or not. If Canelo shows contrition with the Nevada Commission, then they’ll probably cut his 1-year ban in have by 50 percent. However, if Canelo is stubborn, defiant and angry, then it’s quite possible the Commission will give him a 1-year ban and not reduce it. Today’s meeting for Canelo at his Los Angeles news conference was the equivalent of a dry run for how he’s going to conduct himself when he meets with the Nevada Commission on April 18.

“I want to speak to Canelo’s character and how he is different than the vast majority of boxers I have seen in more than 25 years in this business,” Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya said. “I can assure that Canelo has always displayed a professionalism and commitment that is often absent in this sport.”

I don’t know if any of what De La Hoya says about Canelo’s character really matters in the big scheme of things. It seems more like the Commission is going to see this situation in a black and white manner. If they’re focusing only on whether Canelo tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, it might not matter that De La Hoya says about what a great person he is. The fact is, Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol twice in his VADA conducted tests on February 17 and February 20. Although Canelo is saying his positive tests were from him having ingested contaminated meat, it’s still 2 positive tests for clenbuterol. The Commission doesn’t appear to be too interested in how the substance got in Canelo’s tests results. They’re going by the facts that it was there. Canelo is going to have to have some great excuse when he meets with the 5-member board of the Nevada Commission for him to be cleared.

I’d be surprised if Canelo and Golovkin wind up in Vegas for their rematch in September. I’d like to think that Canelo will not hold a grudge against the Nevada Commission if they give him a 1-year suspension with 6 months of it reduced, but I think he will. I can see Canelo and Golovkin winding up in Texas in September. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Texas becomes the new state where Canelo fights every time. It would be strange to see Canelo no longer fighting in Nevada, but nothing lasts. Texas might become a huge mecca for boxing if Canelo fights there for the next 10 years, and brings all the other top fighters to that state to fight in Dallas, San Antonio or Houston. It’s unclear what the Texas Commission will do if Canelo tests positive for VADA tests while training for a fight in that state. If Canelo were to say he tested positive because of eating contaminated meat, does the Texas Commission clear him or give him an automatic 1-year suspension?

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