Et Tu Canelo? WBC Clear on Canelo Alvarez
May 15, 2018
Albert Baker (5 articles)
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Et Tu Canelo? WBC Clear on Canelo Alvarez

WBC FIRM ON DECISION TO DROP CANELO ALVAREZ

Los Angeles (May 15 2018)- Saul Canelo Alvarez caused one of the biggest stirs in boxing of the last few generations, becoming the largest figure in the sport to fail not just one but two drug tests for performance enhancing substances. The immediate backlash from the public was brutal against the red-headed superstar immediately branding him guilty without trial and casting doubt into the minds of his most ardent supporters.

The monumental task of clearing Alvarez given to the public relations team of promoter Golden Boy was delayed pending the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s hearing on the matter. The initial performance was admirable in rolling out a doctor from Mexico with a list of contaminated meat cases throughout the sporting world stemming from Mexico and declaring clenbuterol meat contamination a public health crisis in Mexico.

Nevertheless, Alvarez was suspended by the NSAC for six months.

Then the penultimate clearing result.

A hair follicle sample was given.

Testing negative for Clenbuterol the public relations team of Alvarez dealt a major blow to the narrative that Canelo was intentionally abusing an anabolic substance. Credibility for the super star began returning to doubters and the super faithful were confirmed in their steadfast support of Alvarez.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman had expressed support for Alvarez during the wait for recourse of Alvarez’s failed tests in a statement on the WBC website Sulaiman said “I give the benefit of the doubt to Canelo. He has never previously tested positive for anything and he`s been in the Clean Boxing Program for many years.  He has our absolute vote of confidence.”

Sulaiman didn’t have to throw his support in for Alvarez.

During the lead-up to the first matchup between Gennady Golovkin and Alvarez the red-haired wonder from Mexico blatantly dismissed the world’s largest sanctioning body from his home country. The ire of Alvarez stemmed from the WBC making Golovkin the mandatory for the title he won over Miguel Cotto.

Alvarez instead faced Amir Khan despite Golovkin being the mandatory.

Sticking to their rules, the WBC stripped Alvarez of the title and awarded it to Golovkin who was ranked number one.

In an article by Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times he quoted Alvarez as saying “I won that belt with blood, sweat, sacrifice, a great training camp, by beating Miguel Angel Cotto,” Alvarez said in Spanish. “When I vacated it, they gave it to the other guy like that, without making him drop a bead of sweat. He didn’t even go through a single training camp and they gave it to him. They put it on the table. That’s not an organization you can respect.”

The disdain by Alvarez was taken a step further when he refused to accept the “Huichol” belt designed for the Cinco de Mayo holiday following his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Alvarez further said in Hernandez’s article “I just don’t want anything to do with the WBC. That’s what I don’t want.”

And even still the WBC threw its support in for Alvarez following his positive test.

They didn’t have to.

The WBC will continue to be an organization with power and reach in boxing with or without a sanctioning percentage of Alvarez’s purse.

That support has ended. Well metaphorically at least.

Sticking to their guns, the WBC has dropped Alvarez from their rankings.

Failing to enroll in the Clean Boxer Program, a program designed to keep the sport clean and free from controversy and performance enhancing drugs. Alvarez’s refusal was the last straw.

I contacted the WBC and Mauricio Sulaiman made this poignant statement “The WBC rules are clear and apply to every fighter. All champions and top fifteen ranked fighters must enroll in the clean boxing program, failure to do so results in being taken out of the rankings.”

Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told Keith Idec of Boxingscene.com “If we have a deal done, he’ll start when the contracts get signed”. This statement on its face quickly eliminated much of the restored credibility from Alvarez’s hair follicle sample.

The PR team of Golden Boy’s work in shaping the narrative was thrown into the garbage by a blatant refusal to enter the future of undeniable clean boxing.

The leverage in negotiations for a rematch with Golovkin is now reduced with the perception that Alvarez could be using banned substances until a contract is signed.

Alvarez will continue to sell tickets, how many he will sell against opponents not named Golovkin is yet to be seen. How many tickets Alvarez can sell against a near forty-year old Golovkin doesn’t quite earn the same level of respect of beating a thirty-six year old Golovkin does.

Golovkin, who covets holding all the belts would make less money fighting any other fighter but maintains the high road in the twilight of his career; and doesn’t risk losing a belt because of Alvarez’s fall from the rankings.

The optics of Alvarez not holding a title while other rising champions and contenders flourish diminishes the Mexican’s standing unless a proper foe is presented. A foe with real risk. Alvarez can still bounce back.

A matchup between Alvarez and one of the premiere middleweights could resurrect the reputation of the star. Undoubtedly drug testing will remain a topic in any negotiation for a legitimate middleweight threat.

All because of the perception Alvarez has created for himself.

And Perception is reality.

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Albert Baker