EDI­TOR’S LET­TER

Why Canelo is on our front cover

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Why Canelo is on our front cover

SOME of you will be frus­trated to see Canelo on the cover, no doubt. The failed drugs test left a bad taste that is hard to shift. I would have been de­lighted to see him sus­pended for longer, if the au­thor­i­ties had taken a stand and sent out the right mes­sage, ir­re­spec­tive of why Canelo had an il­le­gal sub­stance in his sys­tem.

To merely post­pone a ca­reer­high pay­day for six months while a knee in­jury is repaired high­lighted the sport’s short­com­ings when it comes to the is­sue of per­for­mance en­hanc­ing drugs. Still we don’t know why or where the Mex­i­can in­gested con­tam­i­nated meat, yet we’re sup­posed to ac­cept that’s what hap­pened. The sub­se­quent hair sam­ple test trig­gered more ques­tions than an­swers.

But the re­match with Gen­nady Golovkin has now been sealed and will hap­pen on Septem­ber 15. At Boxing News, we can­not ig­nore that be­cause we be­lieve Canelo should not yet be al­lowed to re­turn.

Just be­cause he’s on the cover doesn’t mean all is for­got­ten. It merely means that I be­lieve, in my role as edi­tor, a cover fea­tur­ing Canelo and GGG is the big­gest news in boxing at the mo­ment.

Last year, the faces of Floyd May­weather and Conor Mcgre­gor graced the front page four times. Four times when the whole boxing world was talk­ing about them. When the fight was on the brink of be­ing signed, dur­ing the in­fa­mous press con­fer­ence tour, im­me­di­ately be­fore the con­test and im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards. Not one of those cov­ers was an en­dorse­ment of the far­ci­cal bout, it was a nod to the con­tent and opin­ion inside. Con­tent and opin­ion that slammed the fight from start to fin­ish. Yet while out in Las Vegas, do­ing my job and re­port­ing on the event, I was then slammed by some on so­cial me­dia for my hypocrisy. How dare I write be­fore­hand that some­thing is go­ing to be bad then have the au­dac­ity to go out and write about what ac­tu­ally tran­spired. But surely we have a duty to re­port on the news, whether we like what we’re re­port­ing on or not.

It’s the same rea­son why newspapers and mag­a­zines may put the es­capades of Donald Trump on their cov­ers. It’s why news bul­letins will lead with his ac­tions. It’s not an en­dorse­ment of his be­hav­iour, of­ten quite the op­po­site, but if they were to ig­nore him, he would not go away nor would it make his ac­tions any less real. News agen­cies, like the pa­pers, like Boxing News, have to re­port on the news oth­er­wise they are not do­ing their job. Un­for­tu­nately, not all news is news we’re pleased with. That’s just the way the world is, the way it’s al­ways been and al­ways will be. And in­creas­ingly, if you’re to cham­pion the good of boxing you also have to ac­knowl­edge the bad. Be­cause the bad will not just dis­ap­pear if you don’t.

I would rather have seen Golovkin em­brace the chal­lenge of Billy Joe Saun­ders who has been treated badly through­out this saga. I would rather Golovkin chased a re­match with Danny Ja­cobs. Both are more de­serv­ing than Canelo by a con­sid­er­able dis­tance.

Bot­tom line, though. Canelo is fight­ing GGG in a bout that will be the big­gest of the year. A con­test far more en­tic­ing than May­weather-mcgre­gor yet an­other born from chaos and con­fu­sion none­the­less. And one we will en­deav­our to cover as hon­estly as we can, just like al­ways.

How­ever, ev­ery time we men­tion the fight, should we con­stantly con­demn it? As stated, the failed drug test should not be for­got­ten, but do you, the reader, al­ways our pri­or­ity, want to read over and over again that Canelo failed a test and the fight should not be hap­pen­ing? While we don’t agree with the rul­ing that he’s al­lowed to re­turn so quickly, there must also come a point where we have to ac­cept that he is back and he is one-half of the year’s big­gest con­test.

What­ever hap­pens be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the bout, whether we’re granted ac­cred­i­ta­tion or not, we will con­tinue to write from the heart. And Boxing News will never stop striv­ing to be a sane voice in a mad, mad world.

l PLANS to cre­ate a res­i­den­tial home for ex-box­ers are gath­er­ing pace. All pro­mot­ers are in­vited to a meet­ing at the BN Of­fices on June 28. If you haven’t yet re­ceived an in­vite, please let me know.

Photo: AC­TION IM­AGES/AN­DREW COULDRIDGE

ALL SMILES: Ear­lier in the year, be­fore news of Canelo’s pos­i­tive test broke

AC­TION IM­AGES/LEE SMITH & STACEY VERBEEK

Cover pho­tog­ra­phy

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