When you get busted, the knives come out. Your reputation, which took perhaps decades to build, can swirl down the drain. You can fight it, but people talk.
Canelo Alvarez’ place in the game is right now in flux. He has lost some fans, who were put off by his testing positive for clenbuterol or, if they weren’t initially put off, didn’t buy his explanation, and haven’t approved of what some see as an arrogant attitude in him while he deals with fallout.
Now, I’m not saying that his star will dim fully, or even mildly, off of this. In fact, because we are in an age where we pursue our innate desire to indulge in schadenfreude, Canelo’s perceived character flaws could in fact fatten his bank account. People will pay to watch a villain perhaps get his comeuppance. Whereas they might have had him on their radar screen before, maybe now they give him more attention, because they are “hate-watching” him.
Still, even if that is the case, I have to think it can’t be a comfortable feeling for the Mexican hitter. Even if he compartmentalizes extraordinarily well, he has to be at least mildly aware that people are whispering about him.
His resume is now open for dissection, as boxers he has fought to to this point now ask themselves if he was enjoying an unfair advantage while competing against them. Austin Trout is in that boat. The 32 year old New Mexico based fighter owns a 31-4 record. June 9, he will challenge Jermell Charlo for Charlo’s WBC 154 pound crown. One of his four losses came to Canelo, back in 2013. He told the Sirius/XM “At the Fights” show with Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney Friday night that he didn’t care for how the PED testing regimen was handled for his April 2013 Canelo challenge in San Antonio.
Here are some excerpts from Trout’s take on the testing deal for Canelo vs Trout:
“Absolutely, when he got busted, I said I knew it,” Trout said; he then told the hosts that he pushed hard for stringent testing, but was rebuffed, and told by Canelo people that with it being too close to the fight date, there wouldn’t e enough time to properly educate the fighters about what substances are banned and what are OK. “So I said ‘listen, I don’t need any education, I was in the amateur boxing program, USADA was a big part of that, I know what I can and cannot take, it’s really on your guy.’ If Canelo can’t be educated in 6, 7 weeks than he must be slower than all heck.”
Trout recalled that he wanted VADA to handle the testing, instead of USADA, but USADA got the nod.
Trout shared that he got tested time and again, and chafed at all the blood they were taking from him. He wondered if they were as diligent in collecting Canelo samples. “I kept expressing that you’d better be testing him as much as you’re testing me, that I’ll never know.” After Trout lost, they wanted a sample, which is understandable. He said again that he didn’t think they were as aggressive in collecting from Canelo as they were with him.
There you have it, one of the elements of the fallout from testing positive. How much does this sort of chatter reach Canelo? If he hears it or sees it, does it register? Only he knows and could tell us. But, we suspect, because he is not a robot, this does and will affect him. Or maybe not. High achievers, in this realm and others, have an ability to compartmentalize and rationalize and move forward without getting too bogged down in a quagmire of self doubt.