Saul Alvarez: Saunders showdown could hold the key to Canelo comeback

Boxer Saul Alvarez
Saul Alvarez plotting his route back to the big time
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Saul Alvarez was let off lightly following a failed drugs test and Betfair's boxing writer Frankie Monkhouse is in a less than forgiving mood. Here's what Canelo must do to earn a rematch with Golovkin.....

"The early thinking suggests Canelo would be a short price favourite for that fight with Saunders going in as a plucky outsider and that’ll interest lovers of an upset"

Former world champion Saul Alvarez's legacy lies in tatters after the Mexican twice failed a drugs test. The 27-year-old from Jalisco tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol but was let off lightly by officials.

Canelo was slapped with a year-long ban, reduced to six months because the fighter is said to have cooperated during the investigation. He also had the punishment backdated so will be free to fight again on August 17. With no fine to talk of - certainly nothing official - many fight fans believe the man who had wronged their sport has been let off with the punishment doing nothing to deter others from bending the rules to gain an unfair and dangerous advantage.

Some say he should have been dealt with more harshly while there's plenty in the game who believe an example should've been made of Saul, his career cut short with a lifetime boxing ban. What was the fighter's explanation? He didn't seem to have put too much thought into it when blaming contaminated Mexican beef for the adverse findings. Promoters Golden Boy released a press statement promising their man will be back fighting for the Mexican Independence Day weekend.

Canelo can't expect to waltz back into Golovkin fight

With little more than a slap on the wrists dealt out the only real punishment was felt by lovers of the noble art who missed what promised to be a thrilling rematch between Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin following the pair's split decision draw last summer. They were set to meet in New York this spring but GGG was forced to make up the numbers vs Vanes Martirosyan on May 5. Everyone saw the early KO win coming.

A fight in the bag to keep Golovkin sharp as he nears a decider with his old rival, but he didn't see too much action that night and it wouldn't have brought him on any. Those once desperate to see Golovkin-Alvarez II seem to have cooled on the idea and it now looks like the Mexican will have to earn his shot by clambering back up the ladder.

Winter showdown with Saunders looks likely

So, if it's not the rematch with Triple G who should his comeback fight be against? Brits would love Billy Joe Saunders to fill the void and that would give Alvarez a shot at a world title and real bargaining tool vs Golovkin, but that's unlikely. Saunders is scheduled to defend his WBO middleweight crown against fellow countryman Martin Murray on June 23 at the 02 Arena, London. The champion is a hot favourite to come through that battle unscathed with 1/18 currently trading on the Betfair Sportsbook.

If BJS does as expected vs Murray and Alvarez has a warm-up bout vs a lesser known opponent in September that could pave the way for a winter clash between the two warriors. Most likely to take place in America, Saunders would have no trouble travelling - he beat David Lemieux in Canada last December in front of his own fans.

The early thinking suggests Canelo would be a short price favourite for that fight with Saunders going in as a plucky outsider and that'll interest lovers of an upset.

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