Golovkin to fight Martirosyan in Canelo absence

Gennady Golovkin will fight Vanes Martirosyan on May 5 following the withdrawal of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, who pulled out earlier this month in the wake of two positive tests for banned substance clenbuterol.

Alvarez was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission following the results of the tests administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) on February 17 and 20, but maintained his innocence and his camp blamed the adverse findings on eating tainted meat in the 27-year-old's homeland.

He withdrew in light of that suspension and ahead of a scheduled hearing with the Nevada commission on Wednesday.

The eagerly awaited rematch between the pair who battled to a controversial draw in September was scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but the replacement bout will be staged at the StubHub centre in Carson, California.

Armenian-American Martirosyan usually fights at light middleweight and has lost both of his title bouts at that level - to Demetrius Andrade in 2013 and Erislandy Lara in 2016.

The 31-year-old has not fought since losing on points to Lara two years ago and appears to have little hope of upsetting undefeated Kazakh Golovkin, who will put the WBA, WBC and IBO straps on the line.

The draw with Canelo was the first fight Golovkin failed to win in what was his 38th professional bout.

After pulling out of the fight against unified world champion Golovkin, Alvarez insisted he was not guilty of any wrongdoing.

"I am truly shocked about what has happened and for those who have doubts and suspicions about my integrity I have always been and always will be [a] clean fighter," he said.

"I want to apologize to all my sponsors, the media and to everyone who is involved in the promotion of this event and especially to the fans. I respect this sport. I will always be a clean fighter."

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