Former unified heavyweight champion and undisputed cruiserweight ruler Evander Holyfield didn’t mince his words when discussing the fallout from a failed Canelo Alvarez drug test recently.
Holyfield was making an appearance on the SiriusXM Boxing Radio Show when the boxer turned promoter was asked his opinion on those who are found to have taken performance enhancing substances.
Canelo is currently under investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and has blamed contaminated meat for the traces of Clenbuterol in his system.
If found guilty, Canelo will lose millions of dollars from his May 5 clash with Gennady Golovkin and faces a ban of up to two years.
Due to the small quantity present, Canelo’s finding is highly likely to be passed by the NSAC as coming from cattle, whilst Holyfield wants anyone who is found to deliberately try to beat the testing procedures to face tough punishments.
“Put people in jail for 30 days. Stop it then,” Holyfield told SiriusXM Boxing. “You’re touching drugs – they suspend you and it costs you money. They talk about ‘get over it’ That don’t really work because somebody, one of the fighters trains real hard their whole life.
“People don’t know how bad it hurts people when they get robbed. That’s what boxing is. Some people don’t have a lot of people following them but that doesn’t mean they’re not a great fighter,” he added.
Cases of high-profile fighters testing positive, holding their hands up and then being allowed to compete again are commonplace in the sport but there are calls from some professionals for a life ban to anyone caught out.
On the flipside, there are livelihoods at stake, and if a boxer has genuinely made a mistake, it has to be recognized as such in the final judgement.
That’s the hard part the authorities have to figure out moving forward, but it seems a long way off at the moment, for boxing to completely eradicate this disease.