Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Canelo Alvarez is Facing the Biggest Challenge of his Career and it’s Outside the Ring…

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Gennady “GGG” Golovkin 2 was meant to be the boxing match of the year. The first fight was an absolute barnstormer. Two of the world’s best boxers at their best, fighting it out to be the undisputed world champion. When the pair fought in Las Vegas last September, we were served up an absolute barnstormer.

However, it was tarnished by some very dodgy judging. While most spectators agreed that Golovkin had done enough to win the fight, the judges scored the fight as a draw, with Adelaide Byrd notoriously scoring the fight 118-110 for Alvarez. It was an absolute scandal and left a bitter taste for loyal boxing fans, who’ve had to deal with corruption for too long.

No problem though. We were guaranteed a rematch. The pair were due to get it on again on May 5, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. That was until ‘Canelo’ was served up a temporary suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commision, after a drug test failure. Now things have got even worse for the Mexican.

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports.

Tainted Meat

Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol. Basically what this substance does is speed up the metabolism, making weight cuts easier. It’s popularly used by bodybuilders to get more muscle mass and become leaner. However, it’s also used by farmers to bulk up their meat.

Cases have appeared in China and Mexico in the past where fighters like Brandon and Augusto Moreno have had bans overturned because they successfully proved that the meat they ate was tainted. This is what Alvarez is going to have to do: prove that he didn’t deliberately take a banned substance. Otherwise, we aren’t getting this rematch.

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports.

Not Looking Good

To make matters worse, the NSAC isn’t going easy on him. They’ve announced that ‘Canelo’ will have to attend a formal hearing to get to the bottom of this case. NSAC commissioner Bob Bennett released a public statement. It said:

“After completing my investigation, I made the determination to file a complaint against Mr. Alvarez and set the matter for a disciplinary hearing during the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on April 18th. Therefore, I am canceling the hearing that was scheduled for Friday, March 30th.”

This could be serious for Alvarez’s ambitions to fight in May. There is absolutely no guarantee that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing. It’s not unprecedented. Francisco Rivero was suspended by USADA for four years for a similar drug test story. It’s extremely frustrating for fans and for GGG, who must be sick and tired of the Alvarez camp by now.

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports.

What Next?

It’s hard to know what direction this is going to take. There appear to be two clear answers: he’s either guilty or not guilty. If ‘Canelo’ is not guilty, the fight will go ahead. However, there’s going to be a shadow of doubt over the Mexican hero now. If he wins questions will be asked.

Alvarez has moved his camp to the USA now and is said to be embarrassed by what has happened. He’s still training for the upcoming mega fight. However, this definitely is not ideal preparation for a boxing match of this magnitude.

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