Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II
|Date||May 5, 2018 (cancelled)|
|Title(s) on the line||WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, IBO, The Ring and vacant lineal middleweight titles|
|Tale of the tape|
Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II, was a planned professional boxing rematch between Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin. The bout would have been contested the unified WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, IBO, Ring magazine, and lineal middleweight titles.
The fight was to take place on May 5, 2018. However, in March 2018, two months prior to the fight, Álvarez tested positive for Clenbuterol, and was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission pending a hearing in April. On April 3, 2018, Álvarez formally withdrew from the fight.
The world's two top middleweights had collided the previous September and had fought a high quality and entertaining contest that ended with a controversial split draw after the full 12 rounds. However, with pundits and fans making cases for both fighters having won the bout, it was not so much the result of the draw that caused the controversy but rather the 118-110 scorecard in favour of Canelo by judge Adelaide Byrd, which was in stark contrast to the scorecards of 115-113 for Golovkin by Dave Moretti and the 114-114 even score by Don Trella.
Immediately after the controversial ending, talks began for a rematch between Álvarez and Golovkin. Álvarez stated he would next fight in May 2018, whereas Golovkin was open to fighting in December 2017. ESPN reported that Álvarez, who only had the rematch clause in his contract, must activate it within three weeks of their fight. On September 19, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN that everyone on their side was interested in the rematch and they would hold discussions with Tom Loeffler in the next coming days. Ringtv reported that the negotiations would begin on September 22. On September 24, Gomez said the rematch would likely take place in the first week on May 2018, or if a deal could be worked, we could see the fight take place as early as March.
Despite ongoing negotiations for the rematch, at the 55th annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 2, the WBC officially ordered a rematch. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN, "Regardless of if they did or didn't order the rematch, we are going to try to make it happen. We'll do whatever it takes to make it happen." On November 7, Eric Gomez indicated the negotiations were going well and Álvarez would make a decision in regards to the rematch in the coming weeks. It was believed that Golden Boy would wait until after David Lemieux and Billy Joe Saunders fought for the latter's WBO title on December 16, 2017 before making a decision. On November 15, Eddie Hearn, promoter of Daniel Jacobs stated that he approached Tom Loeffler regarding a possible rematch between Golovkin and Jacobs if the Álvarez-Golovkin rematch fails to take place.
On December 20, Eric Gomez announced that the negotiations were close to being finalized after Álvarez gave Golden Boy the go-ahead to write up the contracts. On January 29, 2018 HBO finally announced the rematch would take place on May 5 on the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Both fighters said that this time the judges would not be needed, with both men promising to knock the other out. The venue for the rematch was not confirmed until February 22, Madison Square Garden in New York had been in the running to host the event, but it was eventually decided that the stage would be the same as the first fight, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. According to WBC, unlike the first bout, Álvarez would fight for their title.
"As part of the voluntary testing program that Canelo Álvarez insisted on ahead of his May 5 fight, one of his results came back positive for trace levels of Clenbuterol, consistent with meat contamination that has impacted dozens of athletes in Mexico over the last years.
As Daniel Eichner, Director of SMRTL, the WADA-accredited lab that conducted the tests stated in his letter today, "These values are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination."
Upon receiving this information, Golden Boy immediately notified the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Gennady Golovkin's promoter, Tom Loeffler."— Golden Boy Promotions
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman made a statement believing Álvarez's innocence,
"We are going to follow the same line that we have taken in each of the positives [for other boxers who tested positive for clenbuteral]. We will follow the protocol and we will work with the boxing commission where the fight will take place to get to the bottom of things. In a superficial way, as far as we know about clenbuterol, because of the level found and with the clean record of Canelo, who has been a part of the program of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency for four years and had never tested positive, and considering that the problem of clenbuterol is a public health issue - everything indicates that it is a food contamination."— WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN Deportes
The WBA president Gilberto Mendoza also made a statement,
"I believe in Canelo's innocence. He has always shown himself to be a clean athlete. It seems that the issue of clenbuterol is a common problem in Mexico, and on some occasions a sister organization like the WBC has had to study this problem more often in the past and I think they will have much more experience in this regard. I know that it is within the levels that are reflected by the consumption of contaminated meat and as I have been able to read that he will undergo any test and if it maintains that, then the WBA will be on Canelo's side with the doors wide open as we have always done. We are going to have a big fight on May 5. This will add a bit of drama to the fight. I know the fight will continue, and we will agree to establish additional protocols, although this procedure is led by VADA and there should be no problem."— WBA president Gilberto Mendoza
"We have received the adverse analytical findings from VADA regarding Mr. Álvarez. As per our standard operating procedures, we are moving forward with our investigation. Accordingly, it would be premature for me to make any additional statements at this time,"— Bennett told World Boxing News
On March 23, the Nevada State Athletic Commission temporarily suspended Álvarez due to his two positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol. Álvarez was required to appear at a commission hearing, either in person or via telephone, on the issue on April 10. The commission would decide at the hearing whether the fight would be permitted to go ahead as scheduled.
Tom Loeffler stated that Golovkin intended to fight on May 5, regardless of his opponent being Álvarez or anyone else. On March 26, former two-time light middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs), who started campaigning at middleweight in 2017, put himself into the equation and offered to fight Golovkin on May 5. On March 29, IBF mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko's manager Keith Connolly told Boxing Scene that Derevyanchenko would be ready to replace Álvarez and fight Golovkin in his place if the fight was to get postponed on April 10.
On March 28, MGM Resorts International, who own the T-Mobile Arena, started to offer full refunds to anyone who had already purchased tickets for the bout. They wrote, “In the event a fan requested a refund, they could get one at the original point of sale and in full.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the news. Álvarez's hearing was rescheduled for April 18 as Bob Bennett filed a complaint against Álvarez.
The fight was officially called off on April 3, 2018 after Canelo Alvarez withdraw.
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