The hotly anticipated May 5 rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez has been cancelled after Golden Boy Promotions confirmed that the Mexican fighter failed two drugs tests in February.
Canelo's withdrawal was confirmed at a news conference on Tuesday while the 27-year-old serves a temporary suspension handed out by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who filed a formal complaint and are seeking disciplinary action which will be decided at a hearing in Las Vegas on April 18.
Golden Boy president Eric Gomez explained their position: "It’s unlikely this matter will be resolved by [April 18] properly and obviously we need enough time to promote a fight of this magnitude."
The former two-weight world champion tested positive for clenbuterol which, as an anabolic agent, could carry a suspension of one year but if he co-operates it could be halved to six months.
It is then back-dated to when the fighter tested positive, meaning he could be free to fight in mid-August, giving the promoters the chance to reschedule the bout although it's thought that Golovkin is keen to keep the May 5 date in Las Vegas.
Canelo still maintains his claim that his consumption of contaminated meat in his native Mexico is why he tested positive and wants to clear his name.
Among the fighters looking to take his place in the bout is Cork native Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan.