By Keith Idec
Oscar De La Hoya isn’t worried that this clenbuterol controversy will permanently damage Canelo Alvarez’s legacy.
Alvarez has encountered considerable backlash since the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him six months for twice testing positive for clenbuterol in February. Those failed tests caused the cancelation of his middleweight championship rematch against Gennady Golovkin on May 5 and created doubt about whether Alvarez has been a clean fighter during his ascent to superstardom.
De La Hoya, Alvarez’s longtime promoter, is confident a convincing victory over Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) in their rematch September 15 in Las Vegas will make many fans forget about this tumultuous time in Alvarez’s career.
“The Golden Boy” also is certain that many fans have accepted Alvarez’s explanation for failing those tests. The 28-year-old Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) insists that consuming contaminated meat in his native Mexico made him test positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance.
A reporter asked De La Hoya during a conference call Wednesday if Alvarez’s PED ordeal will forever follow him, similar to the way Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas have been dogged by their PED controversies following their fights against De La Hoya.
“I’m not concerned one bit because this is totally different,” De La Hoya said. “Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas tested positive for steroids, performance-enhancing drugs. And this is totally different. This is clenbuterol that was in meat, in tainted meat. So look, everybody in Mexico knows about the big problem that they have with clenbuterol in their meat. And in Mexico, he’s a bigger star than ever. So I don’t think his career will be tainted whatsoever. I think once he beats Golovkin in a spectacular fashion, then people will forget about it here in the States.”
Vargas tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, after De La Hoya stopped him in the 11th round of their September 2002 grudge match in Las Vegas. Mosley eventually admitted that he unknowingly used designer steroids “the clear” and “the cream” while training for his rematch against De La Hoya in September 2003.
Alvarez, meanwhile, is training in San Diego for his second fight against Golovkin next month at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View). His six-month suspension is due to end after Friday because it is retroactive to February 17, the date of his first failed test.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.