Tom Loeffler, Do You Believe Canelo’s Clenbuterol Explanation?

GGG promoter Tom Loeffler came on Everlast “Talkbox” Tuesday, and summed up all the drama we’ve seen as being, bottom line, helpful to a promotion, because of all the controversy.

Yep, he’s kind of a “glass half full guy,” and it seems like he’s taken the whole clenbuterol madness in stride…

Yesterday (Thursday), we heard that Canelo Alvarez’ hair sample taken March 29 showed no trace of any banned substance, and so some folks are thinking Canelo deserves a big fat across-the-board apology. Other folks point out that hair testing is an inexact science, and, of course, science can’t be inexact. Couldn’t one wash and re-wash ones hair and strip out any chemical out of there, if one wanted to? Maybe so, some experts would tell you, and that’s why the hair test isn’t accepted across the board by testing organizations.

I asked GGG promoter Loeffler on Thursday night if the negative hair test on the red-head exonerates Canelo. “No idea,” he said. He said his research indicates that the lighter the hair color, the easier it might be for someone to strip out unwanted chemicals in a follicle, so, he said, he’s not inclined to see the negative test as proof.

Loeffler on Tuesday did a deep dive into the whole spectacle.

“It needs to be that if someone tests positive, it needs to be a harsh punishment, so that there is a deterrent,” he told us on ‘Talkbox.’ “To anyone trying to sneak under the radar…there’s a lot of claims, you know, fighters go onto a certain cycle, and then they only fight once or twice a year, because that way they know when they’re gonna be tested, and it won’t show up. Frankly, we insisted on earlier testing for this rematch, than there was in the first fight, and Gennady has said that if the fight happens in the future, he would test starting after this May 5 fight. There’s nothing to hide on the Triple G side, we just want there to be a level playing field. Whether it’s weigh ins whether it’s drug testing, it should be especially in the sport of boxing since it’s so dangerous, there should be a level playing field.”

I put it to Loeffler, point blank, before that hair negative hit the news wire. Does he believe Canelo, who says he ingested tainted meat and that’s how and why the weight loss accelerant clenbuterol was in his system?

“It’s hard for me to judge, Michael,” the promoter answered. “You want to give people the benefit of the doubt. The Nevada commission did their investigation. So, I’m not privy to what were the results of their investigation.” He said this case reminded him of the Lance Armstrong situation, in that the cyclist tested negative time after time…until he didn’t. He said that GGG had remarked how different Canelo looked, his musculature, after deciding to go all in and come to 160. “I’m going to reserve judgement on that, I don’t have access to all the investigation. We just wanted to put on a great show, it was a great promotion working with Golden Boy the first time around, we set some records on the financial side, and it was a tremendous show. And if there’s a way to do that again for a rematch, we’d like to do that agin. That’s Triple G’s highest priority.” The path to the re-set rematch would be smoothed, he said, if Canelo decided to embrace 24-7 testing from today onward.

We touched on other topics, such as pondering whether Canelo might say hell with it, steer away from doing the sequel, because he was angry at Team GGG. “It’s possible,” Loeffler said, but the fans would torch him pretty good, he thinks. They don’t need each other, but the pairing means money. That first fight exploded at the gate, and he thinks that both again want to dance.

He then noted that the May 5 fight, the reset, against Vanes Martirosyan, has high stakes. A loss would mess things up for that wish list path. We chatted more about Vanes…Is that a mismatch? Or might Vanes do a bit better than cynics are saying? “I don’t think it’s a total mismatch,” I told Tom. But I will look like a dope if he gets steamrolled hard and fast May 5. Loeffler, no surprise, is pitching the fight as NOT being a mismatch, and I told him that I will be there with him if GGG blasts him out, right out of the gate.

Vanes was going to fight Maciej Sulecki, who fights Danny Jacobs tomorrow, before the Pole switched things up and took the Jacobs fight, Loeffler told us. And Vanes was favored to beat Sulecki, so there’s that. Vanes has a good following on the West Coast, and we both agreed he’s talked solid smack in hyping this event. Loeffler does not expect GGG to just steamroll Vanes, he shared, and he also predicts an exciting fight, with Vanes coming to do some rumble.

More material; let’s talk about the GGG v Vanes fight moving to Cali. “We definitely wanted to stay in Las Vegas,” Loeffler said. But the MGM Grand thought it was too short a time frame to effectively promote it. He knows of many fans who will fly to Vegas, and then fly to LA to see the fight, he relayed. And might there be irrevocable damage, between GGG and company and Las Vegas? “Everyone realizes it’s not Triple G’s fault,” he said, for the rug being pulled out. So, he thinks, Vegas won’t hold it against the Kazakh boxer.

And might Danny Jacobs, or Sergey Derevyanchenko, or Jermall Charlo be possibilities for GGG after May 5, if, for some reason, GGG v Canelo 2 doesn’t get made for September? Loeffler didn’t poo-poo any of those athletes as a “maybe,” plus he added BJ Saunders, and Ryota Murata as other maybes. Has Loeffler talked to the Top Rank crew about a GGG-Murata tango? He said GGG is fine with fighting anywhere, and would be happy to put the Japan stamp on his passport. “That would be something that I think would be a tremendous promotion,” he said.

Also, we talked with Mayweather Promotions’ boxer Mickey Bey (22-2-1; age 34), who has been inactive, but he told us that is soon to change. We touched on some of the hurdles fighters face, which include outside the ring issues, like managerial and promotional matters. Where you been, we asked, and he told us.

Michael Woods
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Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; is my site