Canelo Alvarez's steak mistake deals another gut punch to the sport of boxing
Hopefully, it was a darn tasty steak that Canelo Alvarez tucked into back in February. Because it has certainly proven to be a painfully expensive one.
Alvarez withdrew from his middleweight title rematch against Gennady Golovkin on Tuesday, pre-empting the findings of the Nevada Athletic Commission that will likely see him banned for at least six months.
And so disappears an opportunity for boxing to build on the momentum it built during 2017 with a blockbuster showdown on one of Las Vegas’ biggest weekends of the year.
Golovkin went off on an explosive rant two weeks ago in which he accused his rival of being a long-term doper. More likely, Alvarez was just a short-term dope who didn’t think and got punished to the tune of millions of dollars.
Alvarez is a wealthy, intelligent and savvy man, one who knows full well the problems that have emerged in sports with Mexican beef and traces of Clenbuterol. For goodness sake, his trainers Eddy and Chepo Reynoso were butchers by trade for many years. He had the resources to make sure no chances were taken. If the guy was craving a burger or a steak, he could have had one flown in — from the United States, or anywhere that took his fancy.
What a way for a fight, especially such a highly-anticipated one, to disappear. Chances are that a six-month ban will be handed down and the whole thing will happen again in September. It is the best match-up in boxing and neither fighter can make as much money battling anyone else. It will still hold appeal later in the year, but the fact remains that the rematch should be taking place in a few weeks’ time, both to capitalize on the still-lingering buzz from the first fight and to hit boxing’s prime weekend on the calendar.
Floyd Mayweather didn’t do much good for boxing – although a whole lot of good for his own bank balance – with his crass ways and dull fights. But this episode is particularly hurtful. Alvarez and Golovkin were seen as upstanding men who lived and fought in a clean, no-nonsense manner. Golovkin’s name is intact, but regardless of what he does next, Alvarez will forever have a cloud of suspicion hanging above him.
It’s enough to put you off your dinner – especially if steak is on the menu.