Archive for April, 2018

Q & A With Larry Merchant:
The Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Situation

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

By William Trillo

It’s been of couple days and by now we have all had a chance to digest the Canelo tainted meat story and come up with our own conclusions on the matter. That being said I still was looking to hear the opinion of an expert. That’s when I decided to give renowned boxing announcer Larry Merchant a call. If anyone could put this situation into perspective it’s Merchant. Always candid and always matter of fact, I knew Larry would have plenty to say on this hot topic. As expected Larry didn’t disappoint. Check out our exclusive interview:

Pound4Pound: Now that the Canelo and Golden Boy situation has played out for everyone to see and he has been forced to withdraw from the GGG fight what are your thoughts on the matter?

Larry Merchant: First, as a fan I am disappointed. I wanted to see the 13th round because I thought the first fight was pretty darn good, it was a very close fight. That is my basic take. Whether you believe Canelo’s story or not, that being like other Mexican athletes that got trapped with tainted Mexican meat, he is responsible. It looks as though a one year suspension will be cut in half so the fight will be rescheduled in September.

P4P: I agree with you that he is responsible. Alvarez made it perfectly clear in the press conference that he was aware this problem has affected other major athletes in various sports in Mexico. My thinking is, if you knew the problem existed couldn’t you have taken some obvious precautions and stayed away from red meat while you were in training in Mexico?

LM: Right! And he could afford his own ranch!

P4P: That being said, it makes the tainted meat excuse very difficult to swallow.

LM: Well, that’s his story and he is sticking by it, but I think that he implied in his pulling out of the fight that he takes responsibility. So I am just going to have to go with that. There have been other prestigious fighters who have failed to pass tests including Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather and it didn’t harm their careers, but it is such a focal point today that everybody is taking out their frustrations on the guy who disappointed them.

P4P: Over the past week or so press conferences were called, postponed and then rescheduled and the date of the NSAC hearing changed from April 10th to the 18th. What do you make of all the rapid fire changes that occurred surrounding the failed drug test?

LM: I don’t really know. The only thing I can guesstimate is that it had something to do with the case that they presented. That in fact, they (Team Canelo) showed receipts from restaurants they ate at in Mexico. I don’t know what their (NSAC) response was. Maybe everybody was so surprised that in a big event like this, which Las Vegas depends on in a certain way, that the commission took this action. The last time I remember in a big high profile event that something like this happened in Las Vegas was when the Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis fight was rejected. That fight went to another venue in Memphis.

P4P: I along with a host of other boxing reporters said after the first test came back dirty that there was no way Las Vegas would pull the plug on this one, that there was just too much money involved. Soon there were rumblings that NSAC commissioner Bob Bennett took offense to those remarks and may reject the fight based on not only the evidence but spite. Do you think there is any truth to that at all?

LM: I think after looking at the evidence they probably decided that the mandatory one year suspension would be reduced by half, which is not uncommon, and the fight would be rescheduled in the Fall anyway. And sometimes the stars are aligned in a certain way, the rules are the rules and government commissions that are essentially designed to help Quasi-promote whatever they are commissioning sometimes in these events come down on the right side of the rules instead of finding other ways. I thought that they would find some other way to penalize Canelo, whether it was financial or suspension after the fight. But I think at the end of the day they did the right thing and the commission should be saluted for that.

P4P: It appears the show will go on and GGG will face someone that night on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand Arena. What do you think they chances for a successful show will be now?

LM: You don’t salvage that event! Canelo is the Heavyweight Champion of the box office, without him there is not much of a box office to be spoken of. Will Golovkin make enough money to make it worthwhile? Probably! Does it have to be a real opponent? I would hope so. I am certainly not going to buy the event if he is fighting someone who can’t even be remotely competitive. That’s up to Golovkin and his promoters on how they can do that. If that’s the best they can do then so be it. It will keep him active and give him a platform to continue ranting against Canelo. And so it goes.

P4P: Do you think at the end of the day both sides will be able to stay at the negotiating table and barring Alvarez eating more tainted red meat at another restaurant in Mexico make this blockbuster happen this September or next May?

LM: I think it’s going to happen in September. Maybe this controversy will even help the fight. I am curious to see the reception that Canelo gets, a lot might change. I don’t have a crystal ball. I never did. I am just looking at what makes sense under the current conditions. If we can recall how long Pacquiao and Mayweather took until it happened, and that seemed to enhance the promotion when it did happen. So I think they will still get together. It makes economic sense and it makes competitive sense after the first fight. We all will just have to delay our gratification.

Pound4Pound thanks Larry Merchant for taking our interview request.

Check out for all the latest boxing news.

April’s Fool

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

By William Trillo

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez halfheartedly stated, “I am truly shocked about what has happened and for those who have doubts and suspicions about my integrity, I have always been and always will be clean fighter.”

The lack of any remorse shown by a fighter who had to withdraw from one of the biggest fights of the year due to his own negligence spoke volumes. After testing dirty not once but twice for the performance enhancing drug Clenbuterol, Alvarez still held firm to his tainted Mexican meat excuse.

What we have here is a clear cut case of denial.

Flanking Alvarez were a trio of sullen faced Golden Boy brass that looked about as uncomfortable as could be as they sat in “support” of Alvarez.

Let’s go ahead and call them “The Enablers”.

Am I suggesting Alvarez is guilty as charged? Given what has transpired over the past week, yes… that is exactly what I am suggesting.

As I understand the impromptu press conference that was held yesterday was actually scheduled to take place exactly a week ago to the day. That’s right, an unnamed PR rep from Golden Boy placed calls over a week ago to A-list media members, (no I wasn’t on that list), telling them there would be a press conference held at the Golden Boy office on Monday but no details were given. Early that Monday the press conference was postponed and the next thing anyone knew the Nevada State Athletic Commission had changed the date of the Alvarez hearing from April 10th to April 18th. The wheels were coming off the bus quickly and even a “bottom tier” journalist like myself could see this show unraveling right before our very eyes.

Monday’s announcement came as a surprise to exactly no one. The Dog and Pony show that took place yesterday was an exercise in futility. The intention was most likely to save face but at the end of the day the charade was pointless at best.

While trying to plead his case for innocence Alvarez said, “How did this happen, I don’t know. Unfortunately, there is a public problem in my country of Mexico. Football, cycling, soccer, boxing — people have tested positive for Clenbuterol. This can be transmitted through meat in Mexico. Contaminated meat is what caused this. That is my statement. This has happened in all sports.”

Giving Alvarez the benefit of the doubt for a moment, if he and everyone and his team were aware of the rampant problem in Mexico and its athletes, didn’t one of them have the common sense to stay away from red meat while training South of the Border? I mean, you are scheduled to fight in a multi-bazillion dollar blockbuster. Didn’t the thought of all these other athletes problems with Mexican meat occur to ANY OF YOU? Or, is the story you are running with purely a crock of bull? (Pun intended).

Another point that made literally no sense to me at all is when Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said, “We’re going to have to cancel the May 5 rematch. As you all know there is a hearing on April 18 and it’s extremely unlikely this will get properly resolved by then and we need enough time to promote this fight.”

Enough time to promote the fight?

Excuse me if I am mistaken but wasn’t there a press conference held on February 27th to announce the rematch? Seems to me any and everyone knew darn well about the rematch. It was the most talked about fight of the year. And when Alvarez said, “I want to apologize to HBO, Tecate and Hennessy and all my other sponsors, the media and to everyone who is involved in the promotion of this event, and especially to the fans,” it seems pretty clear to me that the promotion for this fight was more than on the right track. If you really thought Alvarez was clean wouldn’t you have went ahead with the fight no matter the date of the hearing?

Financially there was no reason to pull the plug, by Alvarez’s own admission all the sponsors were in place as were the fans. According to a highly placed source close to the promotion, “Ticket sales were very strong and they were almost sold out as of last week, which actually is better than their first fight!”

So, to suggest there wouldn’t be enough time to promote the fight is akin to saying you tested positive for a performance enhancing drug is because you ate a Carne Asada Burrito from a street vendor in Guadalajara.

Let me put it like this; the next person I speak to that believes Alvarez is not a cheater will be the first.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why is Oscar and the rest of the Golden Boy Honcho’s willing to stand by Alvarez and expect us to believe this half baked excuse?

Yes, I know Alvarez is the only goose that is laying the proverbial Golden Egg for the promoter right now, but someone might want to stoop down and get a whiff of one of those eggs.

Pssssst! They’re rotten.

Personally I think Golden Boy would be doing themselves a huge favor by saying, “Look, Saul Alvarez is our fighter and we will support him 100% as he gets clean, but right now we cannot and will not condone his use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. We will accept whatever penalty the Commission sets and we hope Alvarez will do the right thing and serve his suspension and then come back clean as he attempts to become champion again.”

It’s highly unlikely any statement like that would ever happen but if it does my consultation fees are $4500 per hour and a check can be sent to at your earliest convenience.

Last but not least, did Alvarez really say, “To be honest, what Golovkin or his team say doesn’t bother me at all because, No. 1, they are not doctors, not experts, I don’t pay attention to them. It sounds more like an excuse that he doesn’t want to fight me or he’s scared.”

Seriously dude?

I’m not sure what else they are shooting in those steers down in Mexico but while it allegedly is enhancing your physique and endurance it ain’t doing a damn thing for your perception of reality! Hence the Aprils Fool blast.

Check out for all the latest boxing truth.