Canelo Alvarez’s temporary suspension is bad news for the highly-anticipated title rematch between him and Gennady Golovkin, according to Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn.
Golovkin was set to defend his World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and International Boxing Organization (IBO) middleweight titles against the Mexican in Las Vegas on May 5.
However, Canelo was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week after trace levels of the banned substance clenbuterol was found in two of his drug tests earlier this month, putting the rematch in jeopardy. A hearing has been scheduled for April 10.
“Mr. Alvarez is temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission per the executive director for his adverse analytical findings, that being Clenbuterol, on February 17 and 20,” a statement by commission executive director Bob Bennett read. “A commission hearing is scheduled for April 10, 2018 to hear from Mr. Alvarez or for Mr. Alvarez to attend.”
Canelo and his camp are adamant that the failed drug test is due to contaminated meat from Mexico, which has been a common occurrence for Mexican athletes over the years.
However, Golovkin, who was previously upset about the news, has not been quiet about the development, claiming that his 27-year-old opponent is a long-time user of performance-enhancing drugs and that his failed drug test has nothing to do with meat.
Hearn, who was promoting his own big title fight this week with Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker on March 31, believes the suspension is a big blow for the fight as there is no real idea on what will come off the hearing.
“My thoughts are, that it’s not very good for the fight,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com. “So now you’ve got a hearing on April the 10th, with just over three weeks before the fight. So what about the people who have paid for their travel? What about the people who paid for their hotels? What about the broadcasters who are building support programming, like HBO, with the 24/7.”
“No one really knows [what will happen], unless you get a head’s up from the commission — ‘we’re wrapping his knuckles but the fight will go ahead’ — and that may be the case by the way. It sounds like everything is up in the air and it sounds like Mr. Loeffler and Mr. Golovkin are planning something else or getting ready to. I still hope it happens, I want to see the fight. I don’t know if ethically its right [for the fight to happen], but boxing and ethics don’t really always mix.”
As for whether Hearn believes Canelo is guilty, he added that his gut feeling is that he was cheating, however, nothing is for certain.
“I keep saying, that if he was unlucky and he ate something that affected his sample — then yes at 100% [he should fight],” Hearn explained. “And if he was cheating, then no at 100%. What to believe? If you put a gun to my head and you said ‘what was he doing?’ — I would say he’s cheating…. but I can’t tell you that systematically, I cant tell you that 100%. We don’t know. There are proven cases of contaminated meat in Mexico. You would hope that with the dough that Canelo’s got, he would eat some decent meat.”
The hearing next month will determine whether Canelo had intentionally consumed the banned substance.