THE WBC have cast Canelo Alvarez out of their middleweight rankings. Since his two failed drug tests, in which traces of clenbuterol were detected, in February, the Nevada State Athletic Commission handed the Mexican a six month suspended sentence. (Due to the doping violation he also been dropped from Boxing News’ own rankings.)
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman stated that he was removed from their ratings after he declined to enrol in their ‘Clean Boxing’ drug testing programme. He can enrol and then he will return to the WBC ratings. (The WBC aren’t the most rigorous moral arbiters in boxing, Luis Ortiz was allowed to fight for their heavyweight title even after failing a drug test.)
Alvarez argues that he only tested positive due to eating contaminated meat in Mexico. Since these findings Canelo has submitted hair samples for testing and no traces of clenbuterol were detected. While this doesn’t necessarily vindicate Alvarez, it is consistent with his claim.
The Mexican is expected to box in September, when his suspension expires, with Gennady Golovkin, the holder of the WBC, as well as the IBF and WBA, middleweight titles the likely target.
After their controversial draw in September, a rematch was arranged for May, only to be cancelled in the aftermath of Canelo’s failed tests. It remains the most lucrative fight for both but Golovkin will be keen to defend all his world titles. That will be complicated. Not only will Alvarez need to restore his ranking with the WBC but the IBF also expect Golovkin to make a defence against his mandatory challenger, Sergey Derevyanchenko. The path towards this rematch clearly does not run smooth.