Sulaiman confirms Canelo removed from WBC’s rankings for failing to sign up for drug testing
By Jeff Aranow: World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed on Monday that Saul Canelo Alvarez has been removed from the WBC’s rankings for failing to enroll in their drug testing program when he was asked to sign up.
It’s unknown why Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) chose to not to enroll in the WBC’s VADA 365 drug testing program.
Sulaiman says Canelo will be reinstated in the WBC’s rankings once he enrolls in their drug testing program. Canelo, 27, is currently under a 6-month suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last month for his 2 positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol. The suspension will expire in mid-August. At the time the Nevada Commission suspended Canelo during their April 18th hearing with the Mexican star that he would immediately enroll in a testing program, but he still hasn’t.
The Nevada Commission can’t force Canelo to enroll in drug testing. This is something he must do on his own. If Canelo chooses not to sign up for drug testing, then his next drug testing likely won’t begin until he starts training camp for his next fight. Canelo says he wants a rematch with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in September, but the fight remains in doubt because he hasn’t started the drug testing that the Kazakhstan fighter wants from him.
”Because he declined to enroll in the clean boxing program as stated in the rules,” Sulaiman said when asked why Canelo Alvarez was removed from the WBC’s rankings at middleweight. ” Not necessarily, if he enrolls then he is back in the ratings,” Sulaiman said when asked if Canelo won’t be eligible to fight for the WBC’s middleweight title in his next contest.
Canelo, 27, will be drug tested once he signs for his next fight in September. However, he might not be enrolled in the WBC’s ‘clean drug program’, and that means he’ll be ineligible for win the WBC middleweight title if his next fight is against Golovkin. It’ll be interesting to see whether the WBC views Canelo as being eligible to be in their rankings once again once he begins testing during training camp by VADA.
Canelo still wouldn’t be enrolled in the WBC’s clean drug program, but he would be getting tested. The WBC receive a lot of flak from boxing fans if they reinstate Canelo in their rankings just because he’s being drug tested during his training camp without being enrolled in the WBC’s clean drug program. Without being enrolled in VADA 365, Canelo’s drug testing will likely stop as soon as his 8-week training camp and fight is over with. Then there would be no testing until his next training camp begins, and that could be 6 months later if Canelo continues to fight only twice a year in May and September.
It’s thought by many boxing fans that Canelo has no desire to fight for the WBC 160lb title anyway. If Canelo fights for the WBC belt, then he would be required to defend the title – if he beats GGG – against the mandatory challenger for that belt Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs). That’s a fighter that Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy showed no interest in fighting when he was at 154. I can’t imagine anything changing in that regard now that Canelo is fighting at 160 now.
In essence, the WBC is doing Canelo a huge favor by removing him from their ratings, because he now has an excuse for why he doesn’t have to fight the 27-year-old Charlo if he somehow beats GGG in the rematch on September 15. However, if Canelo chooses not to enroll in drug testing, he might not get the rematch with Golovkin anyway.
It could be that Canelo is purposefully choosing not to enroll with a drug testing program because GGG is saying that he has to for him to agree to fight him again. Canelo could be calling Golovkin’s bluff by electing not to enroll in drug testing to see what he’ll do. The fact that Canelo hasn’t signed for the drug testing could suggest that he believes that Golovkin will back down from his demand and sign for a rematch with him anyway. This could be Canelo’s way of showing Golovkin that he won’t take orders from him. It would be a childish and self-defeating move on Canelo’s part to fail to enroll in drug testing because Golovkin is asking him to, but he’s used to having things his own way as he A-side fighter.
As I mentioned, there’s also the Charlo element. If Canelo signs for drug testing, then he’ll be reinstated with the WBC’s rankings and he’ll be in the position of having to defend the title immediately against Charlo if he gets past Golovkin. That would be a double whammy for Canelo. He would have to beat 2 very good fighters back to back, and it’ll be very hard for him to do this. Most of the boxing world believes firmly that Canelo lost his previous fight with Golovkin last September in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo was given a 12 round draw from the judges, but he’s viewed as the clear loser in that fight by the fans. There isn’t asterisk next to the draw in the record books, but the boxing public will likely forever see that as a loss on Canelo’s record rather than a draw.
It arguably hurts Canelo that he’s chosen not to enroll in the WBC’s clean boxing program after his 2 positive samples for clenbuterol from the VADA drug tests from last February. It paints a bad picture of Canelo that he would decline the testing after he tested positive x 2 or clenbuterol. A lot of fans see Canelo’s decision to turn down testing as him hiding something. The way for Canelo to show the fans that he has nothing to hide, of course, would be for him to enroll in the WBC’s drug testing program for testing to be done randomly 365 days per year.
If Canelo waits to sign up for the WBC’s drug testing at the start of his training camp, he can avoid criticism from boxing fans. But if Canelo drops out of the testing program as soon as his fight is done, it’s going to look bad once again. He’ll have no testing from that point on until he either enrolls in the WBC program again or he waits until his next training camp.