Saul “Canelo“ Alvarez (49-1-2) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1) are two of the best middleweight fighters of our generation, and when a fight between both boxers was announced for September 2017, every boxing fan was excited.
The fight didn’t disappoint. Both fighters gave all they had with Alvarez dominating the early and late rounds and Golovkin having his best rounds in the middle. The only thing that really disappointed the fans was the outcome of the fight which was a draw.
You can argue that Golovkin had better rounds or that Alvarez was more efficient with his punches, but the reality is that the fight was close enough to be called a draw. After the bout, both fighters said they would do it again, and so the rematch was set up for May 2018.
The rematch became a reality when Golden Boy Promotions announce that the rematch would take place. Everything was set up to have another great fight between both boxers and for fans to enjoy a great matchup.
In February, Alvarez submitted to several voluntary drug tests, and two came back positive for a substance called clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is a steroid that is banned by the Nevada Athletic Commission and testing positive can carry severe consequences.
Alvarez claimed that he was clean and that him being positive for the steroid was due to tainted meat that he had eaten while in Mexico. This caused the Nevada Athletic Commission, to begin an investigation meanwhile Golden Boy Promotions put a hold on and eventually canceled the May 2018 rematch.
Golovkin and his camp were not happy with Alvarez, and both Canelo and GGG exchanged some harsh words via social media.
Canelo’s claim doesn’t come without foundation, however. During the summer of 2011 several soccer players from the Mexican national team who were playing in the Gold Cup were found to have clenbuterol in their systems.
Also events like the Pan American games, MLB, NFL and NBA games that have been played in Mexico have come with memos to the athletes advising them that the meat consumed while in Mexico might be tainted with clenbuterol.
Alvarez eventually took another test which included hair samples several weeks later and came up clean with no trace of the steroid. However it was too late for Alvarez. The Nevada Athletic Commission had handed down a six-month suspension for the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Fans were disappointed and with good reason. The match was not going to happen in May, and Alvarez would be banned for six months. Golovkin, however, didn’t waste time and found himself a new opponent to fight in May and not lose time.
All this developed within two months, and everything was set up for the rematch to take place in September after Alvarez’s suspension.
There were still many questions left out in the open, like why would Alvarez submit to a voluntary test so long before the fight? Also why was Alvarez having knee surgery the same day he was getting suspended?
It all seemed like a setup by Canelo’s camp. They didn’t want to be seen like if he was dodging the Golovkin fight and that was why he had surgery. Alvarez also came up positive on a drug that is not very common among boxers, but it is part of a health problem in Mexico.
From a certain perspective, it seems as if all this was all to have the eventual fight delayed by three months, in which Alvarez would be recovered and the suspension would be lifted.
Some may argue that being seen as a potential steroid user is worse than being a coward, but when they only found a trace amount of the drug in your system and on the next test you come out clean, it’s pretty clear to say he’s not a steroid user.
Even after all this drama, the fight should be a great one for fans, especially after this weekend’s show of force by GGG who knocked out his opponent in the first minute of the second round. There now is even more anticipation than before to see what happens in September with both Alvarez and Golovkin in top shape.