By Keith Idec
The WBC followed through on its promise to remove Canelo Alvarez from its middleweight rankings for failing to re-enroll in its Clean Boxing Program.
Alvarez is not listed in the WBC’s updated 160-pound rankings, which were released Saturday. The Mexico City-based sanctioning organization requires all of its champions and ranked contenders to participate in its blood and urine testing program, which is run by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
The 27-year-old Alvarez’s failure to remain in the program has caused controversy because the Mexican superstar was suspended – first temporarily and then for six months – for twice testing positive for clenbuterol in February. His suspension caused the cancelation of his lucrative middleweight championship rematch against Gennady Golovkin, which was scheduled for May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) owns the WBC middleweight title, which Alvarez once held. Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), who was rated No. 2 in the WBC’s previous rankings, could be re-inserted into its ratings by re-enrolling in the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program.
Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs), who gave Golovkin a very difficult fight in a March 2017 points loss at Madison Square Garden, is now the WBC’s No. 1 contender at 160 pounds.
Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs), who won the WBC’s interim middleweight title last month, is the WBC’s mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s title. Former WBA/WBO 154-pound champion Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) is now ranked No. 2 by the WBC at 160 pounds.
Golovkin also holds the IBF, IBO and WBA 160-pound championships.
Despite his removal from the WBC’s middleweight rankings, Alvarez still is ranked No. 1 by the IBO and No. 2 by the WBA, and could challenge Golovkin again for those titles without the WBC placing him back in its ratings. Alvarez is not ranked by the IBF or the WBO, which recognizes England’s Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) as its middleweight champion.
Alvarez and Golovkin want to reschedule their rematch for September 15, the date on which Alvarez announced last month that he plans to return to the ring. The Nevada State Athletic Commission’s suspension is expected to end after August 17 because it is retroactive to his first failed test February 17.
Golovkin, his trainer, Abel Sanchez, and his promoter, Tom Loeffler, have stressed that Alvarez’s enrollment in a random testing program for performance-enhancing drugs is imperative if they are to agree again to contractual terms for a rematch. They have repeatedly questioned why Alvarez hasn’t remained in the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program throughout his PED ordeal to help prove that he is a clean fighter.
Alvarez claims contaminated meat consumed in Mexico caused clenbuterol to turn up in his system. Golovkin doesn’t believe Alvarez’s excuse and last week called him “a dirty fighter” and “the largest problem that we have in boxing.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.