By Miguel Rivera
The President of the World Boxing Council, Mauricio Sulaiman, is crossing his fingers that a rematch between WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) will be pushed back to September - for Mexican Independence Day weekend.
On Tuesday, Canelo officially withdrew from a rematch - which was scheduled for May 5th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Canelo is under a temporary suspension, after testing positive for banned substance clenbuterol in two separate tests back in February.
Last week, the Nevada State Athletic Commission filed an official complaint against Canelo and ordered him to take part in a hearing on April 18.
Canelo has blamed his consumption of contaminated meat as the sole reason for the positive tests. Farmers using clenbuterol on their livestock is an ongoing problem in Mexico.
The Mexican fighter is facing a one-year suspension, but it may get reduced to six months - which creates the opportunity for Canelo to fight Golovkin in September.
Golovkin will continue forward, choosing to fight on May 5th in Las Vegas against a late replacement to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Sulaiman is very confident that Canelo's positive tests are nothing more than a case of inadvertently eating contaminated meat - and he's concerned that so many fans have immediately accused Canelo of being a doping cheat. And even Golovkin has recently come out and made allegations that Canelo was a longtime doper.
"When the subject of doping is involved, a focus or alarm is turned on and people without knowing things will react immediately. First they must investigate what the substance is, the level and the history, to give the accused the opportunity of the process... there is a series of interviews and I feel that [the NSAC] reacted very late and more so with all of the precedents that there is a clenbuterol [problem with athletes eating contaminated food] in football and boxing in Mexico," Sulaiman said.
"Canelo is a young man who has had detractors since he started to succeed, and now they have turned around to go after him with this clenbuterol case and his image has been deteriorated and millions of dollars in losses for him as an athlete because he can not fight on May 5. But he deserves that opportunity to do his research and give his explanation of how it happened, the places where he ate during the month of February. I do not know if you remember that in 2011, there were 109 players from all over the world came out positive for clenbuterol, in boxing Erik Morales in 2013, 'El Bandido' Vargas in 2016.
"Saul says he`s innocent and he has a tremendous desire to prove his innocence. It is very unfortunate that fight fell apart in that manner. I think there were enough elements to save the fight. Now we hope that the tiebreaker will take place in September. We will have to wait, depending on the determination of Nevada and then we will know.
"What Saul wants is to clear his name, his trajectory is specifically with the issue of doping. We know he is a clean athlete, and that's why we said that we are going to support him. We all have the right to be heard and we will have to wait now for the final determination [by the NSAC]."