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WBC to reinstate Canello Alvarez in their rankings

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says the World Boxing Council are going to be reinstating Saul Canelo Alvarez in their rankings beginning next month in June after he signed up with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA, as part of their Clean Boxing Program.

The WBC recently removed the 27-year-old Canelo from their rankings due to him being slow to enroll in their Clean Boxing Program. Canelo tested positive twice for clenbuterol last February during VADA conducted tests. Although the levels of clenbuterol in Canelo’s system were low and consistent with meat contamination, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for 6 months until August 17.

Canelo now signed up for the testing by VADA, and a rematch between him and IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG” Golovkin is in the works for September 15.

“Already (Canelo) in June returns to the rankings,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said to ESPN Deportes. ”That’s the regulation. If you’re inside VADA for the out-of-competition tests, you can be classified. If you’re not (in VADA), you cannot be classified, it’s simple consistency,” said Sulaiman years.

The testing is supposed to be year-round for Canelo. This is what Golovkin wanted from the Mexican star before he would agree to a second fight with him.

The negotiations for the Canelo-Golovkin II rematch is said to be going well with only minor points that need to be ironed out. The venue for the fight is likely going to be the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s where Canelo and Golden Boy want the fight. Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler is interested in having the rematch take place either at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas or at Madison Square Garden in New York. However, they don’t have the pull to force the issue.

Canelo is still the A-side in the negotiations, so the fight is going to take place wherever he wants it. Golovkin likens going back to the T-Mobile in Las Vegas to that of going back to the “scent of the crime” in referring to the first fight against Canelo last September. That contest left a bad stain in the minds of many in the boxing world largely because of the scoring by two of the judges. While Golovkin was viewed as the winner of the fight by the boxing public, the Nevada assigned judges had the fight scored 118-110 for Canelo and 114-114. The third judge scored it for Golovkin 115-113.

“Being enrolled in this program a positive step of clarity, is clear and conclusive that it is intended to be a clean boxer, and be available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Sulaiman said.

Canelo enlisting for the VADA testing removes a major stumbling block for the negotiations with the 36-year-old Kazakhstan fighter GGG. Now the only things that need to be agreed are seemingly minor things that can be readily negotiated. Golden Boy Promotions and Loeffler want to get the rematch negotiations completed as soon as possible so they can begin promoting the fight for September 15.

It’s more important for the marketing of the Canelo-Golovkin II fight to start as early as possible because of controversy following their draw last September and the two positive tests for Canelo last February. Those two things have a lot of boxing fans saying they’re no longer interested in seeing the second fight because they feel Golovkin will be robbed again and they think Canelo is a drug cheat and will be using PEDs one again.

If the boxing world believe Golovkin has no chance to win against the more popular Canelo aside from knocking him out, then it could make them less willing to purchase the fight on HBO pay-per-view. For fans to want to pay to see fights, they need to have trust in the system, to believe that the judges will be fair and give the decision to the right person that appeared to win the fight. Last September, the fans felt that Canelo was unjustly given a 12 round draw against Canelo.

Whether the fans are still willing to pay to see Canelo and Golovkin do it again remains to be seen. 21,000 fans packed the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last September for the Canelo vs. Golovkin I fight. But with Canelo testing positive for clenbuterol on 2 occasions last February and the controversy surrounding the draw, it’s going to be a harder sell for the second fight. Golden Boy, HBO and Loeffler are going to need to work harder in hyping the rematch so that it can interest the many jaded fans who no longer have trust that the fight is on the level. The fans must believe that is a real fight and not one with a preordained outcome in which Canelo is given the win under any circumstance. The judging crew will be important for the fight, and perhaps more important than anything else. There needs to be quality judges working the rematch, because it could badly cripple Canelo’s career if he’s given another controversial decision that prevents him from losing.

In other news from the Golovkin front, his management team met with the International Boxing Federation on Tuesday at a hearing to ask for one more optional fight on September 15 before facing IBF mandatory challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs). The IBF will decide whether to grant Golovkin an exception in the next 10 days. The IBF previously ordered Gennady to defend against his mandatory Derevyanchenko by August 3. This was part of a deal for Golovkin to defend against junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan on May 5.

Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler asked the IBF for an exception to let GGG fight Martirosyan on May 5 instead of Derevyanchenko. The IBF allowed the Golovkin-Martirosyan fight to take place without stripping GGG of his IBF belt, but they said he would need to face Derevyanchenko by no later than August 3. Loeffler is now asking the IBF for a second exception to let Golovkin delay the Derevyanchenko until after the Canelo rematch in September. The IBF will make their decision within 10 days. It’s believed that Golovkin will vacate his IBF title if the IBF rules against him and says he still must fight Derevyanchenko by August 3.

Golovkin didn’t make the huge money against Martirosyan that he did in his previous fight against Canelo, but he did tie Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 title defenses at middleweight. Golovkin now hopes to break that record against Canelo if the rematch against place in September.

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