Gennady Golovkin unloaded Tuesday on Canelo Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya, no doubt frustrated by the lack of information about the investigation into Alvarez’s two drug test failures in February.
Those positive tests put the May 5 rematch for middleweight supremacy at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas between Golovkin and Alvarez in serious jeopardy. Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, though he blamed it on contaminated meat.
Golovkin’s team made clear from the outset that it wasn’t buying that – Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said Alvarez was looking for an advantage and pointed out that Alvarez’s trainers, Eddy and Chepo Reynoso, are butchers who should know better regarding contaminated meat.
On Tuesday, when meeting with media in Big Bear Lake, California, Golovkin uncharacteristically blasted not just Alvarez, but De La Hoya, the founder and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. He also swung haymakers at the Nevada Athletic Commission, referring to its members as “terrorists” and suggesting they’re looking the other way because of Alvarez’s popularity.
Among the gems:
• “The commission … they all put their heads down to avoid eye contact,” Golovkin said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I noticed it when I reviewed the fight again. These people are terrorists, they are killing the sport, not just me.”
• The Associated Press quoted Golovkin as saying, “I told you, it’s not Mexican meat. This is Canelo. This is his team. This is his promotion. … Canelo is cheating. They’re using these drugs, and everybody is trying to pretend it’s not happening.”
• “It was pretty obvious when [Alvarez’s] muscles were all [enlarged] … and with the traces of injections, which were visible,” Golovkin said, according to AP. “I can talk about Oscar De La Hoya, too. He is also not clean. He’s dirty.”
• USA Today quoted Golovkin saying he knew Alvarez cheated before the first fight, which was a split draw, as well. “Have a look at the video. He used some pills. It was pretty obvious when his muscles were all with traces of injections. I’ve known it for a long time.”
Alvarez hasn’t spoken publicly save for a sentence in a news release issued the day his failure became public.
His silence appears suspicious because Alvarez looked bigger and more muscular when he fought Golovkin in September, and because in blaming his positive tests on contaminated meat, Alvarez is using what some see as a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Alvarez’s more muscular build didn’t raise an alarm at the time because De La Hoya, in delaying the fight to much criticism, said he was doing so to allow Alvarez to fully grow into a middleweight.
As much as Alvarez and his team and members of the commission may not want to hear it, the perception among boxing followers is that the investigation is a sham and that Alvarez won’t test positive again because he knows there will be increased scrutiny through fight night.
Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, insisted Alvarez isn’t cheating and said his silence shouldn’t be misunderstood. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Gomez explained that Alvarez is not talking because he doesn’t want to influence the investigation. That, he vowed, will change when the probe, and all of its evidence, is released publicly prior to the fight.
“Canelo is going to talk,” Gomez said. “I promise you, Canelo is definitely going to talk. He wants to talk. … This situation is in the hands of the professionals now: The commission, the doctors, VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Association]. Bob Bennett [the executive director of the Nevada commission] was an FBI agent. He knows how to do these kinds of investigations and figure out what was going on.
“We want a thorough and complete investigation and we’re glad that Bob Bennett, an ex-FBI agent, is doing this,” Gomez said. “So, get this thing done right and put all the facts out, because Canelo isn’t a cheater and he’s being falsely accused.”
Gomez added that if Golovkin had seen needle marks on Alvarez’s body before their September fight, he should have said something then. When asked about Golovkin’s comments regarding De La Hoya being “dirty” Gomez said, “That’s defamation of character. That’s serious. That’s very damaging and we’re looking into that.”
Golovkin’s words were out of character and caught many of his team members off guard. Golovkin feels he didn’t get a fair shake on the decision – in a fight most believe Golovkin won as judge Adalaide Byrd scored it an incomprehensible 10-2 in favor of Alvarez – and now sees Alvarez failed a test that he might not be penalized for.
His frustration is understandable. Especially considering the consequences: A PED-enhanced fighter is much more dangerous, and these guys are punching each other in the head.
Still, Golovkin’s rant was ill-considered given the stakes. He should have waited until he saw the results of the investigation. If he still felt it was a sham that didn’t seriously address the issues, then he could have responded.
Now he has Gomez talking about defamation and members of the commission are going to be peeved at being accused of condoning cheating.
Controversy sells, and it’s what has kept professional wrestling going for so many years. But while Golovkin may have a point, it would have been best to wait until a verdict had been rendered before going off.
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