Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has withdrawn from his much anticipated world middleweight title rematch against Gennady Golovkin (GGG). The decision to withdraw comes as he awaits the outcome of a hearing into an adverse drug test.
Having drawn their first emphatic bout in September last year, the pair had been due to fight again on May 5 in Las Vegas. However, Alvarez has now been pulled out of the fight.
On March 5, Alvarez’s promoters, Golden Boy Promotions, announced that he had twice tested positive for clenbuterol. Moreover, they blamed contaminated meat. Alvarez agreed to random drug testing. Alvarez’s promoters said contamination had “impacted dozens of athletes in Mexico over the last years”.
Earlier this year, Alvarez said he was “surprised and bothered” by the adverse test findings. The 27 year-old stated he was “an athlete who respects the sport”.
Where next for Alvarez?
The Nevada State Athletic Commission was considered unlikely to approve the rematch after it suspended Alvarez. He could also find that he will be facing a longer suspension. Alvarez is to appear before the commission on April 18 concerning the positive tests.
According to Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said on Tuesday that the promoters were advised that Alvarez would likely not be cleared to fight on May 5. said it was “extremely unlikely this matter is going to be resolved” in time.
It truly is a loss for boxing as every single second of their first encounter was captivating. Canelo counter-punched fantastically. Golovkin attacked relentlessly and the controversial draw paved the way for what would have been the biggest bout of 2018 for sure.
Golovkin speaking to ESPN “I am looking forward to returning to Las Vegas for my 20th title defence and headlining my first Cinco de Mayo event on May 5, it is time for less drama and more fighting.”
Irishman Spike O’Sullivan is in the running as Canelo’s replacement while Billy Joe Saunders, who holds the WBO belt, as well as Demetrius Andrade and Sergiy Derevyanchenko are also options that are being considered by the Kazakh boxer.
An opponent will be announced in due course.