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Canelo talks about failed drug test, says it wasn’t intentional

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Kubrat Pulev

By Jeff Aranow: Saul Canelo Alvarez says he never intentionally used performance enhancing drugs when he tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol while training for his canceled May 5th rematch against middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs) says he wasn’t fully aware of the risks involved in eating beef in Mexico. The 27-year-old Canelo wasn’t of the risks from eating potentially tainted beef that contained clenbuterol, which is a substance that improves stamina for athletes.

“I don’t want to get anyone else involved. This was my mistake for not reading up on the risks, not researching more, more on the subject, on what’s going on with the beef in Mexico,” Alvarez said to ESPN.

Canelo says he’s cut out eating beef while in Mexico in order to reduce the risk of him eating contaminated meat. Now that Canelo is training in California for the Golovkin rematch, he can eat beef without worry, as American beef isn’t injected with clenbuterol.

Canelo is facing Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) on September 15 in a rematch at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s important that Canelo not test positive again before the rematch in two months or else he’ll wind up being suspended for a longer duration. Canelo’s current suspension expires on August 16 in time for him to face GGG on the 15th of September.

Canelo’s excuse of ignorance about the risks involved in eating beef in Mexico isn’t an adequate excuse to get him out of his six-month suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. They state that the athlete is responsible for what goes into their bodies. If Canelo continues to test positive in the future for eating tainted beef, he can expect to receive harsher punishments by the Nevada Commission. The ignorance excuse isn’t going to work. Canelo is going to need to be more careful in the future what type of meat the he ingests. With the money Canelo has, he should be importing beef from the nearby U.S if he wants to be completely safe.

“But I didn’t do anything intentionally,” Canelo said. ”I didn’t do anything to try to enhance my performance. I would never do anything like that. It was a mistake and nothing more, not educating myself about this problem in Mexico. It was my mistake, and I won’t repeat it.”

Canelo tested positive twice for clenbuterol twice last February. However, last March, Canelo tested negative for clenbuterol for a hair follicle test. Canelo feels that shows that he was innocent of using clenbuterol. Unfortunately for him, he had already tested positive twice for VADA’s tests and that’s all that needs to be said. The hair follicle test didn’t clear Canelo. He already tested positive.

Canelo’s denials of having knowingly taken clenbuterol aren’t flying with many boxing fans, which see him as guilty of having used the substance to gain an edge against Golovkin last year on September 16, 2017 in Las Vegas. Some of the fans point out that Canelo’s physique looked very different from his previous fights as a pro. Canelo looked very vascular against Golovkin, almost like a bodybuilder with the definition that he had.

Canelo goes onto say that he thinks that Team Golovkin is trashing him because they want an excuse to give to the boxing fans after he loses to him in the rematch on September 15. Canelo says that clenbuterol isn’t considered a steroid and he feels it’s not a performance enhancing substance. Despite what Canelo says about clenbuterol not being a steroid or performance enhancing substance, it’s a substance that is said to improve the conditioning for athletes. It obviously looks strange to the boxing fans that Canelo, a fighter who is known for having stamina issues in fights, tests positive for a substance that is known for improving the conditioning of athletes. Some fans wonder why Canelo would test positive for this particular substance and not something else. Canelo says that Golovkin’s team knows he’s going to end up the loser of the fight on September 15, so they’re getting their excuses ready by talking about his two positive tests for clenbuterol.

It looks good for Canelo to be admitting that he made a mistake in eating beef in Mexico. That’s a good first step to winning back some of the boxing fans that he lost after his positive tests for clenbuterol. Obviously, Canelo should have come forward and said as much a lot earlier because he could have avoided a lot of the problems. What makes Canelo look bad though is for him and his promoters to be going after GGG by saying that he’s only talking trash about his positive tests because he’s scared of him and looking for an excuse in case things don’t go his way in the rematch. It’s doubtful that Golovkin has been talking about Canelo’s positive tests because he’s scared. The more logical excuse is Golovkin is angry at learning of the news of Canelo’s tests, because he feels he took the clenbuterol to gain an edge against him in their previous fight and in their canceled May 5 rematch. Since boxing is the hurt business, it’s understandable why GGG would be angry at learning of Canelo’s positive tests for clenbuterol. If Golovkin had been the one that tested positive, It’s likely Canelo would be furious too at finding out about it. In that hypothetical situation, would Canelo stay quiet about his two positive tests or would he start trashing him in anger? I think it’s likely that Canelo would be upset enough at GGG to air his opinions to the boxing world.

Canelo is looking leaner lately in getting ready for the rematch with GGG. Whether a lighter Canelo will be able to handle the superior size and punching power of Golovkin on September 15 remains to be seen. If Canelo is weaker and smaller in the rematch, he’s going to have a hard time keeping Golovkin off of him because the Kazakhstan fighter is going to be looking to beat him up and score a stoppage. Golovkin will need to throw more punches than he did in the first fight, otherwise he’s going to end up looking like Murat Gassiev in his loss last Saturday night to Aleksandr Usyk in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final in Moscow, Russia. Gassiev trains in the same gym with GGG and has the same trainer in Abel Sanchez. Despite possessing the youth and power advantage over Usyk, Gassiev ended up being embarrassed by the Ukrainian fighter by being outworked with his speed and high volume punching. Canelo likely gained confidence in seeing what Usyk did to the younger, more powerful Gassiev. Trainer Sanchez looked helpless in working Gassiev’s corner that night. No matter what Sanchez told Gsssiev, he was unable to follow his instructions because he was too slow of hand and foot, and he was loading up too much on single shots instead of throwing combinations the way he needed to do for him to have a chance of beating Usyk. Gassiev was never going to beat Usyk throwing one punch at a time. That approach worked against Yunier Dorticos in the semifinals, but it was never going to work against Usyk. Golovkin will need to throw combinations with power against Canelo, and not worry so much about his counter shots. Golovkin will end up end up being outworked by Canelo if he only loads up with single shots like he was doing in their previous fight last September.

Kubrat Pulev and Hughie Fury have until Friday to negotiate deal

In other boxing news, 37-year-old former heavyweight world title challenger Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) and #5 IBF Hughie Fury (21-1, 11 KOs) have until this Friday to negotiate a deal for an International Boxing Federation title eliminator to avoid a purse bid. If Pulev and Fury’s management haven’t made a deal by this Friday, a purse bid will be ordered by the IBF.

Last year, the 23-year-old lost a 12 round majority decision to former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker on September 23 in Manchester, England. Hughie spent most of the fight on the move and failed to throw enough punches for him to get the decision. It was a lackluster performance by the 6’6” Hughie, who is the cousin of former unified heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. Parker, 26, later was beaten by IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua by a 12 round unanimous decision on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Parker lost the fight to Joshua, but still was able to extend the 28-year-old for the first time.

Pulev has already had two fighters, Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller, pull out of the eliminator against him after their management lost purse bids. They would have had to come to Bulgaria to face him. Miller and Whyte are both promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, the same guy that promoted Joshua. They don’t need to fight in a risky eliminator against a highly skilled fighter like Pulev for them to get a title shot against Joshua. They’ll get the fight against him anyway, as Hearn is chomping at the bit to make an in house fight involving those fighters with Joshua. They can make good money fighting Joshua at Wembley Stadium in London without taking a risky fight against that they may lose.

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