World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed that WBC middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin has been approved to make a voluntary defense of his belt on May 5 against an opponent to be determined.
GGG's scheduled opponent, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, officially withdrew on Tuesday after being placed under a temporary suspension for testing positive for clenbuterol. Canelo will have to take part in a hearing with Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 18.
"It's very sad news for boxing, because everyone expected and anticipated this rematch. However, it is necessary to follow up and clarify a positive result and in this case, the Nevada Athletic Commission is acting according to the protocol. As a sanctioning body, we have made our position very clear and due to these events we have authorized a voluntary defense for the champion," Sulaiman said.
Initially, as Golovkin-Canelo was falling apart, the WBC was going to re-direct their Cinco De Mayo commemorative belt to a card taking place in Thailand with champion Wanheng Menayothin going for win number 50.
But now with Golovkin moving forward with a fight on May 5th in Las Vegas, the WBC will once again stake a commemorative belt for the bout.
"It`s important to note that the commemorative belt for the dates May 5 and September 15, 'Don Adolfo López Mateos' will be named 'Belt Bats'il Ajaw' which means 'True Hero.' And it will be won by the fighter who gains the victory," Sulaiman said.
Sulaiman also explained that the WBC is in contact with WADA and COFEPRIS to open a dialogue about this problem with clenbuterol, which besides affecting the fighters, it is also a public health issue in Mexico.
The WBC President states that other boxers like Erik Morales, Francisco Vargas and Luis Nery have tested positive for clenbuterol or similar substances - with all claiming contaminated meat as the cause - and all three were not affected by the test results.
"This is a different jurisdiction. The Nevada State Athletic State Commission has all the power to sanction or to withdraw the sanctioning of a fight. And unfortunately this fight is off and Canelo is in the process of trying to clear his name. Whatever is decided on April 18th, that`s where things will move. And then we can speculate after that," Sulaiman said.
"We must make the best out of this special date. There have been great surprises on Cinco de Mayo."