Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez announced his withdrawal from the middleweight championship fight at a news conference on Tuesday. The decision comes after Alvarez tested positive in February for the banned substance clenbuterol, throwing the highly anticipate fight into jeopardy.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission filed a formal complaint against Canelo last week seeking disciplinary action to be decided at an April 18 hearing in Las Vegas, where the fight was set to take place at T-Mobile Arena. The legal letter left little wiggle room for Canelo’s claim that the positive test was a result of tainted meat consumed at his home in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The complaint said that under Nevada rules, the athlete is responsible for what enters his system, whether intentional or unintentional.
Canelo Alvarez said “I have always been a clean fighter and I always will be a clean fighter. Contaminated meat is what caused this. I want to prove that I have never intentionally ingested clenbuterol. I have never taken illegal substances.”
Golden Boy Promotions announced in a statement March 5 that Alvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol on February 17 and February 20. He agreed to submit to as much random testing as the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association required following those two positive tests in hopes of keeping their rematch scheduled for May 5.
Alvarez’s withdrawal from the fight Tuesday ended nearly a month’s worth of controversy.
Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez made the announcement during a press conference/conference call at Golden Boy’s headquarters in Los Angeles. Gomez said Golden Boy’s brass had been advised that Alvarez isn’t likely to be cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to fight Golovkin on May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas when he appears before the NSAC on April 18 in Las Vegas.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) still wanted to fight Alvarez again May 5, but he was extremely critical of his rival during an impromptu media day two weeks ago at his training camp in Big Bear Lake, California. The IBF/IBO/WBC/WBA middleweight champion doesn’t believe Alvarez’s excuse of contaminated meat causing clenbuterol to turn up in his system.