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Alvarez-Triple G fight in jeopardy on drug complaint

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LAS VEGAS (AP) Nevada boxing regulators have filed a formal complaint against Canelo Alvarez for doping violations, putting his May 5 middleweight title rematch with Gennady Golovkin in jeopardy.

Alvarez could be suspended for a year for testing positive twice for the performance-enhancing drug Clenbuterol in random urine tests conducted in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, in February.

An April 18 hearing was set on the complaint by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, replacing an earlier April 10 hearing that had been set. The hearing is just two weeks before the fight, making it doubtful the fight will proceed on that date.

Nevada boxing regulations call for a one-year ban for first violations, though it can be cut in half at the commission’s discretion. Even if Alvarez gets a six-month suspension, the fight would not take place until August at the earliest.

Canelo Alvarez withdraws from May 5 fight with Golovkin

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Canelo Alvarez has withdrawn from next month’s middleweight title fight with Gennady Golovkin, two months after Alvarez twice tested for a banned substance.

The May 5 fight in Las Vegas was to have been a rematch of the draw they fought last September. But on March 5, Alvarez’s promoters, Golden Boy Promotions, announced he twice tested positive for the steroid clenbuterol in February. They blamed contaminated meat, and Alvarez agreed to random drug testing.

It was unlikely the Nevada State Athletic Commission would approve the fight after it temporarily suspended Alvarez, who could face a longer suspension.

Alvarez is to appear before the commission April 18 concerning the positive tests. Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said Tuesday the promoters were advised Alvarez likely would not be cleared to fight May 5.

“I have always been a clean fighter and I always will be a clean fighter,” Alvarez said Tuesday during a conference call. “I want to prove without a doubt that I have never intentionally ingested clenbuterol. I have nothing to hide and I want to be open and transparent through this process. . I have never taken illegal substances and this is no different.”

Golovkin is hoping to fight a different opponent at T-Mobile Arena on May 5, but it won’t approach the huge event that the rematch with Alvarez would have been. It’s possible the two could meet later this year, depending on any sanctions placed on the Mexican fighter.

Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, publicly doubted that tainted meat caused Alvarez’s positive test.

“Again with Mexican meat? Come on,” Golovkin said in March. I told you, it’s not Mexican meat. This is Canelo. This is his team. This is his promotion. … Canelo is cheating. They’re using these drugs, and everybody is just trying to pretend it’s not happening.”

Cyborg massive betting favorite on Saturday’s UFC 222 odds

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It is always a challenge to find good value before a Cris Cyborg fight.

Cyborg is the biggest favorite on a main card as the -1600 favorite with Yana Kunitskaya coming back at +800 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in the women’s featherweight championship bout that is the main event for UFC 222. The card is set for T-Mobil Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The prologue for this bout came just two months ago, when Cyborg was extended to a decision against Holly Holm on December 30. What Cyborg, who is better than former Invicta fighter Kunitskaya in probably every facet of the Octagon, probably took from going the full five rounds was a lesson in being cautious. That could serve her well at avoiding strikes from Kunitskaya (who has a more orthodox stance than Holm).

That might well mean that Cyborg could put off the stoppage in Round 2. Prior to the Holm fight, Cyborg had won 12 fights in a row by knockout or technical knockout. The UFC has had 14 fights in the last five years with a favorite of -1200 or more. Eleven of the fights – 78.6 percent – ended with a stoppage.

Denied a shot at the featherweight title with champion Max Holloway (ankle) scratched, Frankie Edgar (-175) is favored on the UFC 222 odds against Brian Ortega (+145), who was confirmed for the fight with about three weeks’ notice. It’s hard to go against Edgar, with his quick footwork that lets him get in and out of the pocket without taking punishment, in a matchup against Ortega, who’s on the main card for the first time in his career.

Andre Soukhamthath (-145) takes an edge in seasoning into a bantamweight bout against Sean O’Malley (+115), who is undefeated in nine career pro fights in lower-rung promotions. The main question with the favorite is whether Soukhamthath (whose last four wins have all been by KO/TKO) can be more assertive rather than falling into a pattern of relying on technical striking, since O’Malley has a high work rate that could help in scoring in the event the bout goes to a decision.

Seven-footer Stefan Struve (-190) might look to get the match to ground ASAP against fellow European heavyweight Andrei Arlovski (+155), so he can utilize his long legs and work off his back. Arlovski is the heavier puncher and Struve is vulnerable to being outboxed, so there is potential for both a short fight and an underdog win.

And Kelten Vieira (-160) is favored against Cat Zingano (+130) in a women’s bantamweight match. Inasmuch as each fighter is strongly regarded for her grappling game, this might be a matchup where it’s unlikely the favorite will get beaten at her own speciality. Vieira, nine years the junior of Zingano, has had three of her last four fights go to a decision.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.