Sergey Kovalev’s failed drug check forces cancellation of Jan. 30 battle with Bek Melikuziev

One in all boxing’s high occasions in early 2021 is formally canceled.

The Jan. 30 bout between former gentle heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and Bek Melikuziev has been nixed after Kovalev failed a drug check due to banned substances, Golden Boy Promotions introduced on Friday.

Kovalev was knowledgeable earlier this week that his A pattern submitted to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Affiliation on Dec. 30 yielded exterior testosterone and metabolites, in keeping with check outcomes obtained by ESPN.

Golden Boy, which promotes Melikuziev, stated in a press release Friday that the California State Athletic Fee decided the bout should be canceled.

“Whereas we’re crushed for [Melikuziev], we all know that he’ll however have an amazing 12 months in 2021,” Golden Boy stated within the assertion.

On Thursday, Kovalev’s promoter, Primary Occasions CEO Kathy Duva, stated the previous champion has proved to be a clear fighter all through his profession and that he “maintains that he didn’t purposefully ingest any banned substances.”

Duva additionally stated the corporate is planning on having his B pattern examined by VADA. Nevertheless, it seems these outcomes will not have any bearing on a possible battle in opposition to Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs), one among boxing’s rising prospects.

The January bout was positioned to be a pivotal battle for Kovalev (34-4, 29 KOs) at this level in his profession. The 37-year-old hasn’t fought since November 2019, when he suffered an 11th-round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez.

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