While the majority of boxing's "powers that be" appear content to give Canelo Alvarez the benefit of the doubt after he explained away his recent failed drug test by blaming it on meat contamination, his May 5 opponent Gennady Golovkin is not so quick to forgive.
After Monday's reveal that Alvarez, the reaction from the Nevada commission and both the WBC and WBA sanctioning bodies showed support for Alvarez.
Citing the Mexican star's clean testing history and the "problematic" precedent of tainted meat in his native country, the belief on their part is that, as long as Alvarez passes every test moving forward, his pay-per-view rematch in Las Vegas with Golovkin will be a go.
But Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), a unified middleweight champion, wasn't as optimistic during his first public comments on the matter Wednesday when he held a media session at his camp in Big Bear Lake, California.
Long an advocate for cleaning up boxing with more stringent drug testing, Golovkin used the words "shameful" and "stupid" to describe Alvarez's failed test during an interview with the Los Angeles Times. He also supported his promoter Tom Loeffler's request that Alvarez should provide full disclosure of the time and pace the contaminated beef was purchased and consumed.
"There are laws and a commission and [anti-doping scrutiny], and we have to fulfill them," Golovkin said. "They have to take action in that case. Either disqualify him or [deliver] penalties. But if it's neglected, why do we need a commission? And why talk about tests?
"When you get to this level, people should be watching the skills you muster from yourself, not wonder which laboratory you have."
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Golovkin, 35, already felt the sting of what he thought was special treatment given to Alvarez, the biggest PPV draw in the United States, during their first meeting last September. The two fought to an all-action draw in a fight marred by controversial scoring (most felt GGG had won) and the belief,, that the Nevada commission allowed Alvarez to use an illegal hand-wrapping technique.
Asked by Hoy Deportes whether he believes Alvarez ingested the questionable meat on purpose, perhaps as a way to cover his use of another performance-enhancing drug, the typically mild-mannered Golovkin looked visibly annoyed.
"Ask him! Ask him and his team," Golovkin said. "I think his team, the whole promotion, they are smart guys and not crazy. Because before, a lot of athletes have had the same problems. I'm very sad because I'm a professional athlete and he is a professional athlete. Seriously, he and everybody understands the situation. If he tests positive, it's a problem. It's a big problem for the sport and for us."
Golovkin isn't so much concerned by whether Alvarez tests clean from here on out after moving his camp to the U.S. as he is in seeing the commission hand out a justified punishment.
"This doesn't matter for me what kind of medicals. He tests positive, that's it," Golovkin told ESPN. "I believe, for the commission … [there are] only two [answers]: Yes or no. Positive or not positive. That's it. It doesn't matter."
It remains uncertain how the failed test of Alvarez, 27, will affect the fight and whether he will be disciplined in any form. Sanchez echoed the sentiment of Team Golovkin on Wednesday by hoping the right measures are taken as quickly as possible.
"I want a thorough investigation, and if [Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency head Margaret Goodman] deems [the clenbuterol levels] too high and there should be no fight, then we'll go along with that," Sanchez told the Times. "But if she says it's in line with meat contamination, we'll abide by it.
"But you have to be ignorant and live under a rock to not know that hasn't been a problem in Mexico before. And his coach and managers [the father-and-son duo of Jose 'Chepo' and Eddy Reynoso] are butchers, they own meat markets."
Golovkin revealed he has been tested four times over the past two weeks and reiterated his history of clean drug testing dating back 20 years to his amateur days. However, the matter is ultimately resolved, the native of Kazakhstan voiced disappointment for Alvarez.
"My first reaction was, 'Really?' It was just like that, 'Really, are you serious?'" Golovkin told ESPN. "I know him, he's a good boxer. Maybe he's an extra boxer and not a regular guy. I believe that he doesn't need medicals or drugs or anything like that.
"But right now, when he tests positive, it's terrible for the sport. I respect my sport because I love a clean sport. For me this is not a laboratory, it's natural stuff. If you not believe in natural stuff, you use medicals. It doesn't matter, just meats and fruits and everything. But now he tests positive and it's just crazy."