Benavidez: “The Greatest Canelo Popped Dirty For Clenbuterol”

Benavidez Brings Canelo's Legacy Under Fire for Positive Clenbuterol Tests

David Benavidez cites Canelo Alvarez testing positive for steroids
David Benavidez credits Clenbuterol for Canelo Alvarez's best performance (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Benavidez Says Canelo Was Never As Good Without Steroids

Reigning undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (61-2-2, 39 KOs) is currently one of the most accomplished, and arguably the most recognizable, names in boxing. But is he a fighter whose achievements should be under question? According to two-time 168-pound champion David “The Monster” Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs), that is the case given that Canelo was previously flagged for steroids.

Benavidez has an upcoming fight at 175 against former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk on June 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. But The Monster has been in hot pursuit of a fight with Alvarez at 168.


During an appearance on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game Podcast, the super middleweight champion became a long topic of discussion. Besides stating that he would destroy Alvarez, Benavidez made the following eye-raising claim:

“When the greatest Canelo came out, the one that fought Gennady Golovkin the first time, dude popped dirty for Clenbuterol . . . That was the best Canelo I’ve ever seen. That was Canelo off of steroids.

Everybody else he’s fought, [Amir Khan, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant], these guys were all weak. I see Canelo Alvarez, and I see he’s not as good as everybody thinks because the one who fought Golovkin the first time was off Clenbuterol. That’s why he looked so good – because he was off Clenbuterol.”

In March 2018, Alvarez twice tested positive for Clenbuterol, which is a performance-enhancing drug. He ended up serving a six-month suspension.


The Mexican superstar has maintained that the positive test was the result of eating contaminated meat in his home country. But those claims have drawn plenty of skepticism from more than a few fans and others in the boxing community. It doesn’t help his cause that there’s been a noticeable drop in his punch output and level of performance over the years.

Alvarez is one of the best fighters of his era. He’s a future Hall of Famer. But he’s also a fighter with his share of controversy in and out of the ring. The multiple tests for PEDs did happen. No rationale or excuse from Canelo will make that go away. It places a stain on what has been a stellar career.

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About Mike W.2035 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for