Loeffler: If GGG can’t fight Canelo, then we’ll look to Saunders

Promoter Tom Loeffler says Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin is still training to face Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 5h, but if that fight doesn’t take place, then they’ll look to face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders next. Canelo’s situation right now is in limbo because of his two positive drug tests for clenbuterol.

Canelo is serving a 2 ½ week suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Friday. The suspension expires on April 10, but the Commission could give the Golden Boy money maker an even longer suspension during their full hearing. The current suspension Canelo was given is just a temporary one that was given by the Commission to give them time to decide what they’re going to do with him.

“He [GGG] is training to fight May 5th. If it’s not against Canelo, we’ll figure out the best course of action at that time. We’d look at Billy Joe Saunders,” Loeffler said to ESPN.com.

Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) is making a voluntary defense of his WBO middleweight title against Martin Murray (36-4-1, 17 KOs) on June 23. Since this is a voluntary defense for Saunders, it’s possible that he could pull out of the fight for a much bigger payday against Golovkin. It’s such a big fight, it would be a mistake for Saunders not to take it if Loeffler offers it to him. If Saunders chooses not to take the fight, Golovkin will have to look to defend one of his titles against Jermall Charlo or Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Golovkin won’t vacate his titles or move up to super middleweight, because he’ll still be interested in facing Canelo once his suspension is over with.

Canelo’s situation for the May 5th fight won’t be determined until April 10th. The Commission is taking this seriously, because Canelo tested positive for a potent performance enhancing drug on two occasions last February during VADA’s testing. Canelo blames the positive tests on contaminated meat he ate while in his home country of Mexico. The Commission will be deciding whether that excuse is plausible. Canelo has likely been asked already to prove where he bought the meat. His levels of clenbuterol in his system for his two positive tests will likely be compared to what is normally seen for a person that has eaten contaminated meat.

Canelo has been a clean fighter throughout his career. His promoters at Golden Boy made this statement to ESPN about his past testing during his career:

“We respect the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s process and will vigorously present Canelo’s case throughout. Over his career, Canelo has tested clean more than 90 times and would never intentionally take a banned substance.”

I’m not sure if Canelo’s past clean record will be taken into account by the Commission when they meet on April 10 to decide his career. They’re more likely to focus on whether he was able to identify where he purchased the contaminated meat, and whether the levels of the drug in his system are comparable to what they would normally see in someone having accidentally been exposed.