The biggest boxing fight of the year has been canceled.
Canelo Alvarez, who was scheduled to face unified WBA, WBC, and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on May 5 at the T-Mobile Arena, has withdrawn from the fight. Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes Alvarez, announced during a media briefing that the fight has been canceled after Alvarez tested positive for traces of clenbuterol on two drug tests on February 17 and 20.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission temporarily suspended Alvarez and was going to decide on the length of his suspension on April 18. Alvarez was facing a potential one-year suspension which could have been cut to just six months per NSAC regulations. A suspension issued to Alvarez would be retroactive to the date of the first failed test, meaning the earliest a suspension to Alvarez could end would be August 17.
Clenbuterol is a banned substance in the United States, but Alvarez claims his positive tests came from eating tainted meat in Mexico where food regulations are not as strict as it is in the United States. Tainted meat has been a problem with Mexican athletes as boxers Eric Morales and Francisco Vargas also tested positive for clenbuterol after what they claimed came from eating contaminated meat.
As a preemptive measure, Golovkin and GGG Promotions filed a request for a special permit to fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 5 if the fight against Alvarez falls through. That request will be looked at the April 5 NSAC meeting and if approved, Golovkin would then be looking for someone other than Alvarez to headline the event there.
Alvarez and Golovkin had their first bout last September when the two boxers fought to a split draw. That fight generated a reported 1.3 million buys on HBO pay-per-view and the third-highest live gate in the history of Nevada for a boxing event. The rematch was also going to headline an HBO pay-per-view card, but no undercard fights had been announced.