The January 30 bout between Sergey Kovalev and Bektemir Melikuziev has been canceled by Golden Boy Promotions.
Sergey Kovalev’s long-awaited return to the ring against Bektemir Melikuziev has today been canceled by Golden Boy Promotions. Ahead of the Jan. 30 event, Kovalev tested positive for synthetic testosterone.
Golden Boy Promotions announced the cancelation via press release. “Upon learning of Kovalev’s adverse finding, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) determined that they must cancel the event.” They added, “While we are crushed for ‘The Bully’ (Melikuziev), we know that he will nevertheless have a tremendous year in 2021. We look forward to our next scheduled boxing event on Feb. 13.”
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association(VADA) was contracted by Kovalev, who had taken to employing the organization for most of his recent fights, according to Kathy Duva, his promoter.
“He maintains that he did not purposefully ingest any banned substances,” she added.
Kovalev hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Saul’ Canelo’ Alvarez on Nov. 2, 2019. Kovalev is a three-time world champion, and with his recent title loss to Canelo, failed doping test, and his recent string of controversies ranging from assault to DUI, it seems that Kovalev might no longer be the top dog of the light heavyweight world he might once have been.
Melikuziev responded on social media that he is unconcerned about the doping test, “I don’t like talking, but I said it last night - it makes no difference to me, just put him in the ring, let us fight regardless.”
Melikuziev is 13 years younger than Kovalev, coming off a string of six undefeated victories, with five of those coming by way of knock out. The silver medalist appears to be on the rise, although it seems unlikely that he will get to face off against Kovalev any time soon.