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Canelo Alvarez REMOVED from WBC rankings

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: In a surprising development, the World Boxing Council has removed popular Golden Boy star Saul Canelo Alvarez from their middleweight rankings without an explanation. It’s thought by some that the WBC chose to remove the 27-year-old Canelo, who is currently suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for clenbuterol, because he hasn’t agreed to sign with their Clean Boxing Program.

This is a random drug testing program that is conducted 365 days a year by VADA. Canelo hasn’t signed up for the WBC’s clean drug problem. The WBC removes fighters from their rankings that don’t enroll with the clean drug boxing program. A lot of boxing fans were wondering why the WBC still had Canelo in their top 15 rankings given that he hadn’t enrolled in their testing program.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has long defended Canelo after he tested positive twice for clenbuterol last February. Sulaiman has maintained that Canelo tested positive due to him eating contaminated meat, which is a serious problem in Mexico. For Sulaiman to remove Canelo from the WBC’s rankings altogether, it kind of shows you how serious he is about wanting him to enroll in his 365 days per year VADA testing.

Gennady Golovkin holds the WBC middleweight title, and Jermall Charlo is the interim WBC 160lb belt. With Canelo not enrolling in a testing program for drugs, it increases the chances that Golovkin could face someone else in September instead of him. That could give WBC mandatory challenger Charlo a better shot of getting the fight with GGG. There’s also WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who would both be in the running for a fight against Golovkin in September with Canelo out of the picture.

Here are the WBC’s new middleweight rankings absent Canelo:

1. Daniel Jacobs

2. Demetrius Andrade

3. Jason Quigley

4. David Lemieux

5. Kamil Szeremeta

6. Roberto Garcia

7. Willie Monroe Jr.

8. Gary O’Sullivan

9. Jack Culcay

10. Yamaguchi Falcao

11. Luis Arias

12. Immanuwel Aleem

13. Ievgen Khytrov

14. 14. Hugo Centeno, Jr.

15. Hassan N Dam N Jikam

It’s hard to imagine Canelo choosing not to bend under pressure and sign up for drug testing soon. With Canelo now longer ranked in the WBC’s top 15, and Golovkin choosing not to sign for a fight with him due to him not signing up for drug testing, it’s putting him in a bad position. If Golovkin doesn’t fight Canelo, then who will Golden Boy Promotions pick out for him? Will it be Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan? That’s an opponent that will do nothing for Canelo. It’s not as if Canelo only has 3 weeks to find a good opponent for him to fight. There are still 4 more months before September, and Golden Boy could easily sign Jermall Charlo, Derevyanchenko or Daniel Jacobs for him to fight. Canelo doesn’t need to fight a low level opponent like O’Sullivan or David Lemieux, but unfortunately one of those two will likely wind up as his Plan-B option if Golovkin doesn’t fight him.

With the WBC removing Canelo from their rankings, it’s going to be interesting to see how long he holds out before he eventually agrees to start being tested for PEDs. It’s already been one month since Canelo’s testing stopped. The Nevada State Athletic Commission reportedly has no jurisdiction over Canelo once they handed down a 6-month suspension to him on April 18. As far as I know, Canelo’s last drug test was on April 3, and he came up negative. It’s now been 6 weeks since Canelo’s last test, and that is a long time for a fighter not to be tested. If the 6 weeks stretches into 14 weeks of no testing for PEDs, it’s going to look bad.

For Golovkin to agree to fight Canelo with him not being tested for PEDs for 3 to 4 months, it’s going to take a lot of faith on his part that he’s a clean fighter. Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions won’t have problems finding someone that will be willing to face him even if he’s never tested, because a lot of fighters just want that payday. Golovkin seems to be from a different mold. He doesn’t want to fight Canelo unless he’s being tested. Golovkin has already made a lot of money in the sport of boxing, so he’s not like the typical fighter, who needs a payday against Canelo and is willing to fight him under any conditions.

Despite the WBC removing Canelo from their top 15 rankings, the Mexican star still remains ranked high with the WBA at No.1 and IBF at #5. If the other sanctioning bodies don’t require their fighters in their top 15 to agree to a clean drug program involving testing 365 days per year. Canelo will still be able to fight for Golovkin’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO middleweight titles. But for Canelo to get the fight with GGG, he’ll likely need to enroll in a drug testing soon. The longer Canelo waits to start testing, the less chances he has of getting the fight. If Canelo waits until August to enroll in drug testing, it’s unlikely that Golovkin will fight him, because that means that he’ll have had 4 months of zero testing for PEDs.

The big question is Canelo supposedly won’t start drug testing until the Golovkin fight is signed. It’s in Canelo’s best interest to have drug testing done now so he can show the boxing fans that he’s a clean fighter. A lot of fans are suspicious of Canelo after his two positive tests for clenbuterol on February 17 and February 20. One way for Canelo to quiet those suspicions is for him to sign up for drug testing right now instead of waiting until the rematch with GGG is signed.

It’s starting to sound more and more like Canelo is going to be stubborn and not agree to the drug testing until he starts training camp for his September 15 fight on the Mexican Independence Day holiday. That means he’ll likely be facing Gary O’Sullivan. He’s not considered a bad fighter, but he’s not one of the elite guys in the 160lb division. O’Sullivan is viewed by many to be in the same league as former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux, who is also signed with Golden Boy. I think it’s a given that Canelo WON’T fight Jermall Charlo. He had the opportunity to fight Charlo when he was with Showtime and fighting at 154 at the same time as him. Canelo left Showtime and signed on with HBO, and he’s been fighting guys like Amir Khan, Liam Smith, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and James Kirkland. Golovkin is really the only good fighter that Canelo has faced during his career in terms of being in his prime still. Canelo fought Shane Mosley many years ago, but he was over-the-hill at that point in his career and much smaller. Canelo’s fight against Miguel Cotto came after he was on the downside of his career as well.

Canelo failing two drug tests for clenbuterol and still being drug tested, it puts him in a bad light with boxing fans. You have to wonder whether Canelo is thinking these things through clearly. He’s done some odd things in the past, like vacating his WBC middleweight title when ordered to fight Golovkin in 2016, and waiting 2 years before finally facing him. Then there was the judging for the Canelo-Golovkin fight last September, and the perception that they robbed GGG by scoring it a 12 round draw. Canelo needs to prove to the fans that he’s a clean fighter, and the best way for him to do that is to get with a VADA program to show them that he’s still testing negative.

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