Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was suspended for six months Wednesday in a unanimous vote by the Nevada State Athletic Commission stemming from two failed drug tests in February, but we already know when he will get back to boxing.
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO's) tested positive for trace amounts of the substance in random urine tests conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.
“As we have maintained all along,” Golden Boy’s statement read, “the trace amounts of clenbuterol found in Canelo’s system in February came from meat contamination, and we provided the Nevada State Athletic Commission with a great deal of evidence to support those facts. Although most professional sports, international anti-doping agencies and United States boxing commissions treat meat contamination differently from other positive tests, Nevada does not.
“Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions respect the rules of Nevada and are therefore satisfied with the settlement agreement reached today. Canelo looks forward to returning to the ring in September for Mexican Independence Day weekend to represent Mexico and boxing in what will be the sport’s biggest event of the year. He is ready to continue his remarkable record of fighting at the highest level.”
Canelo will fight again on September 15, presumably in Las Vegas. His suspension is retroactive to the date of his first failed test, meaning he is eligible to box again after August 17.
This means Alvarez will be off for a full year. His last bout took place on September 2017, a controversial split draw to unified middleweight world titleholder Gennady Golovkin.
However, it remains to be seen if Canelo will rematch Golovkin on that date. They were initially to settle the score on May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but the fight was officially called off on April 3 after Alvarez withdrew from the bout.
It was also announced Wednesday that Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO's) will fight former 154-pound world title contender Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KO's) on Cinco De Mayo at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
It seems unlikely that Golden Boy would be willing to have Canelo take on Golovkin on his first fight back after a long layoff. If that is the case, the earliest we could see a Canelo-Golovkin rematch is Saturday, May 4, 2019.
Golovkin also has other options, including WBO 160-pound titlist Billy Joe Saunders, IBF champion Sergiy Derevyanchenko, former 154-pound titleholder Demetrius Andrade, and the hard-hitting Jermall Charlo.