Sanchez: Canelo needs to be cleared or suspended for positive drug test

By Sean Jones

Abel Sanchez, the trainer for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, says he’s still waiting for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to complete their investigation of Saul Canelo Alvarez for his positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol.

For the time being, the Canelo-GGG rematch is still on for May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. If the fight doesn’t happen due to Canelo being given a suspension, then the management for GGG is going to need to find a replacement opponent or move him off the May 5th date. It would impact Golovkin’s career to lose more time waiting for Canelo.

Sanchez says Canelo should either be cleared of guilt or suspended and fined for testing positive for the banned performance enhancing drug clenbuterol. Sanchez isn’t impressed with the tainted meat excuse that Canelo gave to explain why he tested positive for the drug. Sanchez thinks that Canelo should have known better after all these years to be eating meat in Mexico. That’s what makes Sanchez so suspicious of Canelo’s positive test. It’s hard for Sanchez to believe that Canelo would eat tainted meat when he and his trainers both know the risk involved in eating untested meat in Mexico.

“I think that he needs to either be cleared, or be suspended and fined immensely, but if he’s not, then I think we present future problems for us in this game,” Sanchez said to ”Hopefully everything is alright, and we’ll keep training until it’s not.”

Canelo being suspended might hurt Golovkin than it would him, as it would throw the rematch off further into the future. Golovkin will be turning 36-years-old in April. If the rematch takes place on May 5th, he’ll have been waiting 8 months to get the second fight against the 27-year-old Canelo. Golovkin already waited two years to get the fight with Canelo last year. Golovkin was 33 when he started calling Canelo out. He was told that Canelo had to grow into the middleweight division. The excuse was hard to believe given how heavy Canelo looked after he would rehydrate for his fights. He looked heavier than Golovkin. Since he didn’t have his weight checked by HBO on the night of his fights, there was no way of knowing for sure how much he weighed.

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A suspension for Canelo could result in Golovkin having to wait until September before he gets his rematch with Canelo. That’s four more months of waiting. It could be longer than that if the Commission decided to give Canelo a long suspension. That’s not good for Golovkin. He doesn’t have forever to wait on a rematch with Canelo. If Canelo had simply fought Golovkin over two years ago, they’d be done facing each other two to three times by now, and we’d know who the better fighter is. Making Golovkin wait two years for the fight worked in Canelo and Golden Boy’s favor. It obviously didn’t work well enough though, considering that Canelo appeared to lose the fight last September.

It’s going to be tough for the Nevada Commission to prove that Canelo use clenbuterol on purpose. It’s one of those things that can’t really be proved unless there’s a way of testing that will prove within a shadow of a doubt that he didn’t just test positive from having eaten some tainted meat in Mexico. Sanchez suggests that Canelo should have his hair tested to see if the drug is there. It would be up to the Commission if they wanted to go that far in their investigation of Canelo.

Sanchez also says he wants to make sure that Canelo isn’t using his ‘stacking’ technique of having his hands wrapped for the rematch. Sanchez says it’s illegal the way Canelo has his hands wrapped. He says he told the Nevada Commission inspector in the dressing room last September before the fight that Canelo was having his hands wrapped in an illegal way with tape being layered over his hands. He says he told to be quiet by the inspector. Sanchez thought the inspector handed it poorly. He should have called his superior into the room to have him speak to Sanchez about Canelo’s wrapping technique.

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“It’s entirely unfair and unhealthy and it’s not allowed here in California,” Sanchez said to Fighthub about the ‘stacking’ technique that Canelo uses for his hand wraps. “They do a type of wrap, it’s called, ‘stacking,’ and that’s been illegal throughout the world. States, California, New York, they don’t allow you to do that,” Sanchez said.

It might be fruitless for Sanchez to keep Canelo from using his method of having his hands wrapped. Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez has already said that’s how hands are wrapped in Las Vegas. He says Sanchez is inexperienced about hand wrapping in Vegas. If Gomez is right, then Sanchez can use the same stacking technique that Canelo is using to make it an even playing field for Golovkin. If it does make a difference in terms of the punching force of the shots, then Golovkin will have an easier time knocking Canelo out on May 5th if he stands and fights this time. Canelo says he’s going to try and knock Golovkin out, so that would seem that he plans on being more stationary. We’ll have to see. Canelo is talking boldly, but he might revert to what he did last time when he starts getting hit hard by Golovkin. You can argue that it’s more important that Canelo not to get knocked out than it is for him to put on a great show. As we saw last time, if Canelo can go the full distance, he has a good chance of either getting a 12 round draw or a decision win. He’s the A-side in this fight. It’s his venue.

”We had a meeting, Tom Loeffler and I had a meeting with Mr. Bennett and the two inspectors in the dressing room,” Sanchez said. ”The one in Canelo’s dressing room is the one we protested to. My protest was that it’s illegal, ‘you cannot do that,’ and then he told me to be quiet or he was going to kick me out of the room. I’ve always said unfortunately in this business some Commissions have preferential treatment to some fighters. Maybe they’re the cash cow that brings money into the town. To say that to me just tells me that you don’t care about my opinion. Instead of calling your superior in to talk about it, he threatened to kick me out. I think that’s preferential treatment for a promoter’s fighter. I’ve never been an advocate for someone getting an edge over someone else. If you’re a 4 round fighter, I treat you the same way as a 12 round fighter,” Sanchez said.

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It sounds like Sanchez wasn’t given much of a chance to talk before being told to pipe down. If the wrapping technique that Canelo uses is standard in Vegas and the rest of Nevada, then Sanchez isn’t going to be able to stop him from continuing to use that stacking technique. This should have been one of the contract points for Tom Loeffler. To address it now is probably a waste of time. Canelo is likely to dig in his heels and continue to use his hand wrapping technique rather than giving in and changing it. If it helps Canelo win fights when having his hands wrapped like that, he’s probably not going to want to change it. Loeffler should have the hand wrapping thing in the negotiations. If he couldn’t get that agreed on, then he should have rejected fighting Canelo in Nevada. It was more important for Canelo to get the rematch than it was for Golovkin, because he was seen as the loser last time they fought.

“I hope to get it resolved long before the night of the fight,” Sanchez said about Canelo’s ‘stacking’ style of having his hands wrapped. “Everybody that wraps hands knows that’s an illegal act. I you can get away with it, good for you. It’s not fair to the other fighter. I say, ‘good for you,’ because you get away with it, but it’s not a fair playing field,”Sanchez said.

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