CANELO ALVAREZ is turning his attention from rescheduling his rematch with Gennady Golovkin to fighting Britain’s WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders instead.

After failing two drug tests in February, for traces of clenbuterol, Alvarez had to pull out of a rematch with Golovkin, that had been set for May. He was handed a six month ban but will be ready to box again in September. His promoter, Golden Boy have been negotiating with Golovkin’s team to set the rematch for later this year. Progress there however has been grinding to a halt.

“After the hearing we sent GGG’s team a contract with terms that were agreed on before,” said president of Golden Boy Promotions, Eric Gomez. “Then they came back with terms that are impossible for us to accept. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to fight Canelo. The best way to get out of a fight is to make ridiculous terms. Canelo will fight in September.”

The Golovkin rematch was the fight in Alvarez’s sights. Speaking exclusively to Boxing News, Gomez put the decision to go ahead with it firmly in Golovkin’s court. “That’s the fight Canelo wants, we made it very clear,” Gomez said.

“Canelo’s ready to fight, he wants to fight, he wants to get back in the ring. He’s going to fight in September. If it’s not Golovkin, then he’ll go after someone else.”

With no progress on making the Golovkin rematch, Billy Joe Saunders is back in the frame for a fight with Canelo. Saunders believes his skilled performance dominating David Lemieux had dissuaded Golden Boy from pushing for that fight. Gomez maintains that that certainly is not the case. “Not at all, Canelo’s willing to fight him, no problem,” Eric said. “He has no problem fighting BJ Saunders, we can fight. He can fight Danny Jacobs. There’s a number of other guys out there that Canelo can fight. We cannot force Golovkin in the ring. We cannot force him in the ring. But we made it very clear that’s the fight we want.”

He added, “We are talking to other promoters. There’s Danny Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Gary O’Sullivan and even David Lemieux.”

Canelo Alvarez

The crisis of Alvarez’s failed drug test seems to have passed and Canelo has announced that he’s enrolled for year-round testing. “Canelo’s always tested, he’s tested. If you really do a history search of what he’s done throughout the last six, seven, eight years of his career, he’s always tested. He’s always tested and he’s always done it with either VADA or he’s done it with USADA, which is the agency Floyd Mayweather used to use,” Gomez said. “He’s always done it. He’s always done out of competition, in competition. It’s just a natural move for him. It was something that obviously he doesn’t have a problem with. We’re all very happy that he’s doing it.

“It was stressful [the fallout from the doping violation]. It’s something that’s obviously stressful to go through. I think it’s behind us now. We have to concentrate on getting the next fight set. That’s what he wants. He wants to get back in the ring and to prove that he’s one of the top fighters in the world.”