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Canelo signs contract for year-round VADA testing

By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya proudly announced the news today that Saul Canelo Alvarez has signed a contract for year-round testing with VADA testing. De La Hoya is obviously happy, as now Canelo can show the boxing fans that he’s not a drug cheat like many of them think he is following his two positive tests for clenbuterol last February.

”Canelo just signed contract to year round VADA testing,” Oscar De La Hoya said on Twitter.

There’s a big positive for Canelo now that he’s enrolled in year-round drug testing. He’s now likely going to get the rematch with Golovkin and the possible $20 million payday that goes with it, and he can shut down a lot of the criticism aimed at him by fans. They can’t say he’s not being tested and label him a drug cheat, as long as he continues to test negative for PEDs. The downside of Canelo being tested is if he gets popped a second time for PEDs, be it clenbuterol or whatever, then he’s facing a longer suspension of possibly 1 year or even more.


The Nevada State Athletic Commission probably won’t give Canelo more than a 1-year suspension, but that’s bad enough. Losing an entire year of his career will be costly for Canelo, especially with the 6-month suspension the Nevada Commission gave him for his 2 positive clenbuterol tests on February 17 and February 20.

As long as Canelo is drug free, it’s a good thing that he’s being tested year round by VADA. Canelo can’t afford to be using PEDs though, because It’s too risky. There are some people who believe that with Canelo now signing up for year-round VADA testing, he just threw away his only chance of beating Golovkin. These fans believe that Canelo cycled on clenbuterol before he started training camp for the September fight against Golovkin in 2017, and then reaped the benefits in their fight. All we know is Canelo tested negative for PEDs in the testing during training camp and after the fight. There was no testing of Canelo done in the months before the training camp started, so the fans will never know for sure.

Canelo received a six month suspension recently for testing positive for clenbuterol. He hasn’t been testing since last month. Now that Canelo has signed with VADA, he should have testing start soon. Gennady Golovkin obviously would like that to be done immediately, because he’s the one that will likely be facing him next September. Golovkin says he was suspicious for the fight with Canelo that he was using PEDS. If Golovkin faces Canelo in September, then there’s only four months two go. That’s not much time.

Despite the announcement, De La Hoya and Canelo were both heavily criticized by the boxing fans, who believe that it’s too late. Canelo’s credibility is finished as far as many of them are concerned. They don’t believe he accidentally tested positive by eating tainted meat. They think he took the clenbuterol to improve his game enough for him to be IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in the rematch.

“I want to let you know that I just signed the contract with @Vada_Testing for year-round testing,” Alvarez said on Twitter today.

It’s hard to believe that random drug testing isn’t required year round for all fighters. In a sport as dangerous as boxing, you would think that testing would be required for all fighters 365 days a year, because lives are at risk. This isn’t like basketball or football where the only risk involved for someone competing against a drug cheat is an injury from contact. In boxing a fighter can be seriously hurt, which is why it’s surprising that the sport hasn’t come far enough to the point where all fighters are required to be tested year round.

We don’t know whether Canelo will be the same fighter when he faces Golovkin in the rematch. Some boxing fans feel that Canelo is effectively done at 154 and 160, and that if he faces Golovkin, he’ll lose badly and he’ll also lose to the Charlo twins, Jarrett Hurd, Sergey Derevyanchenko, Daniel Jacobs, Erislandy Lara, Jaime Munguia and Demetrius Andrade. In other words, Canelo won’t be the same fighter from this point on just like Roy Jones Jr. wasn’t the same fighter after he moved down from heavyweight to fight Antonio Tarver in a rematch. There are a lot of question marks about whether Canelo can beat those guys anyway, because he’s not very big and he’s got major stamina problems that the better fighters at 154 and 160 will expose.

Canelo is going to need to test negative for a long, long time for him to make the boxing fans forget about his two positive tests for clenbuterol and for the fact that he was slow in signing up for VADA testing after receiving his suspension by the Nevada Commission. There’s been a huge back lash against Canelo for his two failed tests ad his decision to not sign on with VADA. That kind of stuff makes people suspicious, and he should have known better.

Right now, there’s no way of knowing whether Canelo will ever be the same marketable star that he was previously before he started testing positive for PEDs. The fans might not come back because they want their heroes to be naturally gifted, not someone that is being given an extra hand with the help of science. The loss of fans would be understandable for Canelo due to the combination of his positive tests for clenbuterol and his controversial 12 round draw that he was given by the Nevada judges last September. Those two things present a double whammy in hurting Canelo. If it was just the PEDs, it would be bad enough, but the gift draw that Canelo was given by the judges makes him look really bad.

Golovkin could create a rivalry with Golden Boy fighter Jaime Munguia. He could be the next Canelo, but better because he can fight harder, and he’s not tested positive for PEDs. It would be interesting if Golovkin and Munguia wound up facing each other on PPV in the near future on HBO. If Canelo is no longer popular due to his two positive tests, then Munguia might be the perfect replacement for him.

The drug testing still doesn’t solve the problems of the hand-wraps that Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez has with Canelo. Sanchez says Canelo used an illegal stacking technique for his hand-wraps in the last fight against GGG last September, which turned his hands into casts for the fight.

Sanchez says the technique involving adding layers and layers of tape to make the hand thick. Sanchez says this technique is not legal. Apparently, it’s legal in the state of Nevada, and that’s where the Canelo vs. Golovkin rematch is going to take place. Team Golovkin would like the rematch with Canelo to take place in New York. Canelo’s stacking technique of wrapping his gloves might not work in that state, and he and his trainers would have to figure out a different way to wrap his hands instead of using the layering technique. You can bet Sanchez is going to be very vocal about the hand wraps if the Canelo vs. GGG rematch takes place in Las Vegas. It might be in Canelo’s best interest to change the way he wraps his hands to please Sanchez. At least both fighters would have their hands wrapped the same way and it would be more of an even playing field.


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