Sergey Kovalev vs. Bektemir Melikuziev officially canceled for Jan.30th
By Jeff Aronow: Golden Boy Promotions is announcing the January 30th fight between Sergey Kovalev, and Bektemir ‘Bully’ Melikuziev is officially canceled due to the 37-year-old Kovalev’s positive drug test from the VADA testing.
The Kovalev – Melikuziev was scheduled to occur in Indio, California, after being moved this week from Russia.
There’s no word from the promoters if the cancellation was being made while an investigation is being conducted. The press released from Golden Boy didn’t say whether Kovalev’s B-sample came up positive as well.
If it has, it would explain the highly anticipated match against ‘Bully’ Melikuziev was canceled.
The two-time Olympian Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs) had an open mind upon learning of former IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev’s positive test, saying this on social media:
“I don’t like talking, but I said it last night – it makes no difference to me, just put him in the ring, let us fight regardless.”
The fight’s cancellation may have saved Kovalev from suffering a knockout, considering that he was going up a fighter in Melikuziev with more power than his previous opponent Canelo Alvarez.
Canelo knocked out Kovalev in his last fight in 2019, and he hadn’t fought since that devastating stoppage loss.
From Golden Boy Promotions on Kovalev vs. Melikuziev cancellation:
“Upon learning of Kovalev’s adverse finding, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) determined that they must cancel the event.
“The Kovalev vs. Melikuziev boxing event scheduled for Jan. 30 has been cancelled following a positive test for a banned substance on behalf of Sergey Kovalev through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
The cancellation of the fight means that Kovalev won’t be getting the $2.5 million purse that he was expected to get for the match.
It’s unclear if DAZN will give Kovalev a chance later to fight for that kind of money on their platform when he eventually returns to the ring.
If Kovalev’s B-sample comes up negative, that would greatly help him. We’ll likely hear something soon about the results from the testing of the sample.
A suspension for Kovalev could set him back half the year, which would be a major blow for his career. He’s already been out of the ring for a year and a half.
Losing another six to eight months would take Kovalev to two years of inactivity. If Kovalev is training and taking care of himself, he should be okay, but it’s unclear if he’ll stay active during the downtime.
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