Usyk vs Gassiev – Preview + Prediction

Usyk vs Gassiev – Preview + Prediction

Well it has took a while to get here but finally it is fight week for the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight Final in Russia between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev . This will be the first time in ten years that the Cruiserweight division has seen a lineal champion . On Saturday night we will be treated to what may be the best fight of this year as there is very little to choose between these two elite level operators . You can take all the talk about splits and money that so often stops fights like this happening , this fight is what boxing is all about .

Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk is one of my favourite fighters to watch . Another product of the Ukrainian Boxing system this guy brings a little bit of Vasyl Lomachenko style to the big boy weights and i for one love it . Like Lomachenko , Usyk has been fast tracked due to his extensive experience as an top level amateur which has seen him have to learn on the job at times but each time he has found a way to win . Usyk’s big most valuable asset is his hi intensity work rate , he doesn’t just come forward but he comes in from the sides , constantly looking to back opponents up waiting for that moment where there concentration lapses and he can pounce . Most of Usyk’s work comes off the jab which disguises where his attack will come from , a technique that does seem to be a work in progress but one that the Ukrainian is close to mastering . Usyk proved in his last fight in the semi final against Mairus Briedis in Latvia that even when things aren’t working he can go to war and win , something that he may need to draw on come Saturday . Up until Usyk fought Briedis we hadn’t really seen him tested , and nobody ever really knows how someone will react when they are dragged into a battle . In that fight i thought Briedis was unlucky , he just fell short of the mark and showed Usyk can be very naive falling for the traps that Briedis had set and time and time agains Usyk walked on to big shots , something Usyk Cannot afford to do this weekend or it will be goodnight .

Murat Gassiev

Gassiev is someone who has benefited massively from the WBSS with his success in the tournament bringing him to front and centre in the division that is stacked with talent . Gassiev has a very fan friendly style as this boy can bang . In his last outing in the WBSS semi final he fought Doriticos , another top level Cruiserweight who gave Gassiev all sorts of problems early in the fight . I honestly thought Doriticos was on his way to a well earned victory after the first four rounds but Gassiev like any true elite level boxer showed what it takes to turn from a valiant loser into a gallant winner . That night Gassiev had every excuse to ditch his original game plan as he was being caught on the way in time and time again but he didn’t , he knew Doriticos would slow down the longer the fight went on . As the early freshness faded from Doriticos , he slowed that of a half second and Gassiev could get to work , landing the harder more punishing shots that gradually breaking Doriticos down . That night I couldn’t help but acknowledge that Gassiev must have the upmost confidence in his corner , to have the confidence to stick with a gameplan that didn’t look to be working the first quarter of the fight and make the slight adjustments shows his class . Gassiev isn’t the kind of technician Usyk is but that’s not to say Gassiev doesn’t have skills . A bit like like Usyk , Gassiev does his best work on the front foot , prodding , punching and breaking opponents down . Gassiev i really good at countering his opponents just as they launch an attack , and with Gassiev’s power that is a danger for anybody .

Prediction

This fight doesn’t just have the potential to be the best fight of this year , it has the potential to be the best fight for years top come , that is how highly i rate both these guys . Across all social media and boxing press everybody seems split as to how this fight will go . I think if Usyk makes the same mistakes he made against Briedis he will be stopped , he must show more patience and maybe not try and iniciante every exchange as that’s is when he will be vulnerable . Gassiev cannot go into this fight thinking Usyk will slow down like Doriticos , as i said before Usyk’s gas tank is his biggest asset . I can see this one going the distance with heart stopping moments for both sets of fans . I can see both guys having to dig deep and survive at points . From the start of the WBSS i have said Usyk will win the tournament and my pick hasn’t changed , but i do think it will be a lot closer than i first anticipated .

Usyk Split Decision

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Has The World Boxing Super Series SSN1 Been A Success

Firstly I would just like to let people know i am alive and well but thing’s were just a bit hectic the past couple of weeks so i took a wee break . So what’s been happening since i last put my thoughts down on cyber paper ? Well we have seen the full AJ/Wilder thing fall apart which now looks like the fight is now further away than ever , but everyone and there granny has had a say on that and I’m sure we are all sick of the full thing by now . The other massive news that’s been gradually breaking in the boxing world the past few weeks is the announcements of fighters and weight divisions for next season’s WBSS . With the likes of Josh Taylor signed up for Super Lightweight tournament and Zolani Tete and Inoue signing up for the bantamweight which had me excited but then it got me thinking , can we class season one a success ? .

Anybody that follows the DJayBoxing page know’s i am a massive fan of this tournament format . I have travelled across europe following Oleksander Usyk on his journey to the final , on show’s which were called ” The Road To Jeddah ” as the saudi’s had secured the right to the Cruiserweight final . At the time i tweeted out i thought this could spell trouble for the tournament and that turned out to be the case when the Saudi’s sold the rights to the Russians after Gassiev secured his place in the final . This lead to rumours that Usyk would pull out of the fight and these rumours gathered more pace when Usyk pulled out of the fight in May due to ” Injury ” . Thankfully all looks to be going ahead in Russia later this month .

Now on to the more worrying side of the season one tournament , the super middleweight final between Callum Smith and George Groves . This was a fight most boxing fans in Britain were buzzing about , a buzz that has since all but died . Right from the start this fight was in doubt after Groves dislocated his shoulder then it was announced that beaten semi finalist Chris Eubank Jnr was on standby should Groves not be fit on time . I heard that George Groves has started sparring which is great news for the legitimacy and prestige of this tournament and now it has been announced that the final is all set for September , so better late than never right ? ….Well no as it now seems that this all British fight will NOT happen in Britain , and may even take place in Jeddah , talk about throwing up obstacles and killing a buzz .

So has it been a success ? I would say yes for the most part . This tournament has tried to take boxing in a new direction which is built around momentum and the best fighting the best , bringing boxing back to a bygone era , that has to be appreciated and in there debut season I’m sure some valuable lessons have been learned . For us the fans we have seen how money and politics are never far away from boxing , even in this tournament that holds itself in such high regard . Roll on season two .

Hearn vs Wilder/Espinoza – Round by Round

Hearn vs Wilder/Espinoza – Round by Round

Not one wise man has ever said that the worlds problems will be sorted on social media but it didn’t stop Eddie Hearn , Stephen Espinoza , Deontay Wilder and few others taking to twitter and arguing like little girls about who’s to blame for AJ vs Wilder not happening . I am going to attempt to take you through a tweet by tweet review and we will see who win’s this on the cards .

It all started when the reporter Brendan Schaub claimed that Deontay Wilder had agreed to EVERY demand Hearn and AJ made , to which Hearn refuted .

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So all seems amicable so far , but everybody knew it wasn’t going to stay amicable for long as Wilder was tagged in the tweet . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.10.46.png

Now the fun begins as Hearn starts talking about Stephen Espinoza and Al Haymon not proving they had the funds to pay $50m for the fight , even though these guys have put on the biggest grossing fights in boxing . Eddie Hearn claims he still wants proof , well that was enough to draw Wilder in and i have to admit i have to agree with Wilder , AJ has came out of this looking awful . Round 1 Wilder .

Hearn then attempts to even things up with his very own trade mark shot from the funny bone . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.22.03.png

But WBC World Champion Wilder was having none of it and in typical Wilder fashion he held nothing back . You can feel the rage coming from Wilder . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.31.25.png

But because Wilder didn’t bother to even argue with Hearn , Wilder just vented his anger  so we will score this a 10/10 .

Now it’s time to bring in a big hitter from the US , Stephen Espinosa who took exception with Hearn’s original tweet and there now there is some brains to back up Wilders anger , Hearn took a big blow against a big hitter here . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.47.39.png

Hearn could not and should not give up here and lose face , his gloves were off and he was going to attempt to claw Espinoza’s bastarding eye’s out (“Claw Bastarding eyes ” Is a Scottish term of aggression ) .  Round 3 Hearn Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 19.50.53.png

Espinoza still had his eyes on the prize , Hearn may have hit below the belt in his last tweet but Espinoza will not be deterred from getting his facts out there . but after a great start to the tweet he very nearly lost it toward the end when talking about  “loyalty ” . Round4 Espinoza

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Going into the last round i had it all square . Eddie Hearn had managed to manoeuvre himself into a position where he was the one asking the questions , a very smart ploy when it’s obvious to most what side is holding this fight up . Could Hearn keep it up for just one more round ? . Espinoza again dropped a big shot when pointing out how little Hearn is outside of the UK when it come’s to PPV . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 20.11.53.png

Now i was expecting Hearn to come back swinging , his standing in the game had just been challenged but what did we get …well this . Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 20.12.19.png

To me Hearn just admitted he’s not sure if could sell a PPV to the biggest market in boxing …..This fight was there for the taking and he fluffed after such a good start . Round 5 Espinoza

Josh Taylor vs Viktor Postol – Review

On Saturday night i had the honour of watching a fantastic fight when Josh Taylor took on Viktor Postol in a WBC Final Eliminator at the fantastic SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow , an arena where some of the £40 seats are the best in the house  . There are some issues i am going to get out the way first about this show before we get to the good stuff ……and then i will have my say about ” That Judging ” .

I have been to quite a few Cyclone Promotion shows now in Glasgow and Edinburgh to see Josh Taylor . Cyclone obviously try to emulate the tried and tested Matchroom structure when putting a show together  , looking to make sure the the audience enjoy the show as much as the fights . On Saturday i they got it all wrong with the undercard . It was expected the talented Chantelle Cameron may be chief support with other Cyclone fighters like Martin Bakole and Lee McGregor opening the TV segment of the show , but that wasn’t the case . As i arrived at the Arena around 7.40PM I walked into Tommy Philbin scoring a first round KO , as i took my seat It was announced that there would be no more fights until the show went live at 8.30PM, something i found rather strange . More strangely it was brought to my attention  that Martin Bakole and Chantelle Cameron had already fought earlier on in the evening in what must have been an empty Arena as it there was still loads of empty seats by the time i arrived . I have spoke to Billy Nelson who is trying his very best to build Bakole a fanbase and he was not best pleased about this . Instead taking up prime time slots was a girl making her professional debut and popular youngster Gary Rae , who did have a big following with him , but he must have been shocked when he was told he was Chief support in a six rounder .

Now i have got that out the way lets get to the good stuff ….

Some people had suggested to me that Postol was not the fighter he once was . Some thought that Terrance Crawford had took to much out of Postol in his only loss and he wouldn’t be able to operate at the same level as Taylor …..I was not one of these people . I said in my Preview for this fight that if you let Postol dictate the range in the ring he will pick you apart and it was clear from early in this fight that Josh Taylor was finding it hard to close the gap . Postol uses his incredibly long arms brilliantly to catch opponents when they think they are out of range as Taylor found out right from round one when Postol caught Taylor with a fantastic shot to the body , right then Taylor must have known he was in for a very tough night . (Round 1 Postol)

Right from the start of round two Taylor came out a bit more aggressive , getting inside more in the first 30 seconds of round two than he did for the whole of round one . Taylor was ducking down low to get inside Postol and having some success to the body . Postol never looked panicked at any point in this round and just used his experience , looking to land meaningful shots , but knowing the round was probably in the bag for Taylor , Postol just kept it sensible . (Round 2 Taylor)

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Round three was a fantastic round for both boxers , both countering each others attacks , both landing big shots and both showing each other that fire will be met fire . Josh Taylor was also using an old pro’s trick by bringing the head in into play aswell which was making it imperative for Postol to keep Taylor on the outside where he was the stronger of the two . This round was very close round to call . (Round 3 Taylor )

Just before the fourth round got started you could hear Shane McGuigan tell Taylor to stop looking for the big shots , instructing him to make his last shot the power punch , not the first shot , i think Taylor’s corner knew this fight was going to won in thew last three rounds , not the first three . In the fourth round Postol had found his range again and was doing well keeping Taylor on the outside again . Postol was throwing jabs in two’s and then following his punches in forcing Taylor to spin off without landing anything meaningful . In Taylor had some success in the previus rounds switching from southpaw to orthodox but Postol was now going on the front foot anytime Taylor tried to switch , very smart boxing . (Round 4 Postol )

In the fifth round Viktor Postol upped his workrate again landing big right hands to Taylor’s body continually , a beautiful shot which Postol hides behind his jab . As the round went on Postol became more dominant and at this point it really did look as if the tide had turned in favour of Postol . ( Round 5 Postol) .

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This really was a round of two halves . Postol came out and picked up from where left off in the previous round , peppering Taylor with jabs and keeping the fight at range . Going into the last minute of the round Taylor catches Postol with a fantastic uppercut which stunned the big Ukrainian which Taylor exploited for the ret of the round . ( Round 6 Taylor )

Taylor came out in the seventh clearly upping the pace catching Postol with some lovely shots including his trademark lead right hook over the top . At halfway in the round you got the feeling that Taylor may just be leaving himself a bit to open and that proved right when Postol caught him with a beautiful short uppercut which hurt Taylor . Josh went into to survival mode looking to tie up and stay out of range but Postol managed to land another three lovely big right hands , but Taylor seen the round out . ( Round 7 Postol )

For the first two minutes of this round Josh Taylor didn’t throw to much whilst Postol was picking his shots well , especially his body work . Despite a late flurry at the end of the round by Taylor it was a fairly convincing round for Viktor Postol . ( Round 8 Postol)

Going into the ninth round i though maybe Taylor was struggling mentally and this fight was on the verge of getting away from him , so that made it all the more impressive when Josh Taylor cam out and had his best round of the fight so far . Right from the off Taylor was getting inside a lot easier than  he had the rest of the fight and once he was there he was making Postol pay . He did have Postol hurt but had the street smarts not to go chasing the the stoppage as this guy was tough and the last thing Taylor needed was to gas . ( Round 9 Taylor )

Going into the tenth Shane McGiugan had told Taylor he was the fight the full three minutes of the rest of the rounds and that’s exactly how he fought in the tenth . Postol seemed to have slowed a bit now and punches which he was catching Taylor were now missing the mark . Josh just wouldn’t keep off Postol and in the last 20 seconds Taylor feints to Postol’s body  and Postol go’s to throw a counter jab , literally two seconds later Taylor look’s to like he is going to go to the body with his right but instead throws a massive left hook which sent Postol to the canvas , a fantastic bit of skill from Taylor . Massive round for Josh Taylor . ( Round 10 Taylor 10/8 due to knockdown)

This was another fascinating round as Postol came out and fought fire with fire but Josh was just that bit quicker and had more venom on his punches . Postol was landing some nice combinations but Taylor answered them with more big shot . Live at the arena i gave this round to Postol but after watching it back i’ve changed to a Taylor round . ( Round 11 Taylor )

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Postol needed a massive round here and he just didn’t have it left in him . Taylor had found his rythme and was boxing beautifully . Postol wasn’t helped when he came off second best when there was a nasty head knock . Just like Postol did against Terrence Crawford he never gave up , but just like against Crawford he lost out to a more skilful boxer . ( Round 12 Taylor )  live at the show 114-115 …watch back 113-116 both for Taylor

So we are all sitting in suspense at the arena , where watching it live i had Taylor up by one round with the knockdown being vital . So then the scores are read out

” Judge Victor Laughlan 118-110 , Fernando Barbosa 117-110 , Eddie Pappoe 119-108 ”

That is judging that wouldn’t be out of place at OJ Simpson trial , god awful and so disrespectful to Viktor Postol who put up a great fight and came so close to an upset . He pushed Josh Taylor in ways he had never been pushed before , Josh Taylor probably found something out about himself on Saturday night and that was all due to the fight Viktor Potol put up . It is all to often becoming the case here in the UK that judges are scoring fights way off how they should be scored and something must be done about it . Ask yourself this would you bring a world title to the UK with how fights seem to be scored in they country ? .

Taylor vs Postol – Preview + Prediction

Taylor vs Postol – Preview + Prediction

It is so often the case when watching boxing that we usually miss so much of the journey to the top for our best fighters that we don’t really appreciate just how good they are . I dont think there is a better feeling as a boxing fan than knowing your getting in on something great from the start , watching someone fulfil there ambition one fight at a time and bringing you along on the journey , that is how it feels for me every time Josh Taylor fights . This weekend we will see the next step in Taylor’s journey to the top when he takes on Ukraines former WBC World Champion Victor Postol in what promises to be a great night of boxing in Glasgow .

Josh Taylor 12-0-0 11ko’s

After Carl Frampton had his ugly bitter split from Barry McGuigans Cyclone Promotions it really was worrying times for the company and the boxers they had signed under there banner as Frampton was the only household name in the stable . Cyclone needed someone to step up , they needed someone to fill the massive void left …..Step forward Josh Taylor . In the past 18 months Taylor of Prestonpans , which is a small village near Edinburgh has moved on from strength to strength building a fan base that outgrew anything the Scottish Capital could house and that has seen him now fight out of the thirteen thousand capacity SSE Hydro in Glasgow .

Yes the McGuigans have managed Taylor’s career well but the success in becoming the new king of Boxing in Scotland is all down to Taylor himself . Josh is a world class entertainer in the ring who will look to break you mentally as much as he will break you physically . Like all Shane McGugan fighters Taylor does his best work to the body using his superb footwork to get in position so he can land with accuracy around the side of his opponents defence . We have seen Josh Taylor make Ohara Davis quit like a dog , humiliating him in the process and he was also the first person ever to stop Miguel Vasquez . Part of Taylor being so exciting is that not only is he a fantastic offensive fighter but he also takes shots aswell which has been okay up until now but will he need to adjust for a former world champion , we will need to wait and see .

Viktor Postol 29-1-0 12ko’s

Like most i became aware of Viktor Postol when he KO’d Lucas Matthysse , a result i ever seen coming . Postol is a world level boxer as he proved against probably the best in the business Terrence Crawford who used every bit of his superior skill set to beat Postol on points in which was a very entertaining fight . Postol is a rangy fighter who uses every inch of his long arms to his advantage . If you let Postol dictate the distance in the ring that is when he will punish you as he is an expert in keeping opponents on the outside with his jab then hooking round the side of his opponents defence with surprising accuracy . The does have some big flaws though as Crawford showed . If you frustrate him he will rush in and walk right onto a shot , something Crawford sent him down to the canvas with twice . Postol also stands very upright so if you can get inside his body is wide open to the attack , something Josh Taylor will no doubt look to exploit as the fight goes on .

Prediction

I will not be attending this fight due to work commitments but i have to admit i am devastated about it . This is a great step up for Josh Taylor and i have no doubt Postol will be coming to Glasgow looking for the win . Postol is like no one Taylor has ever fought before , all you have to do is look at the respect Crawford gave him in there fight . I think Taylor will start a little more cautious than we are used to seeing but after a couple of rounds he will look to force the pace and get inside . If Taylor can get inside and work the body he may get Postol out of there late on . Postol is a tough opponent though who can be very difficult to figure out . For me this fight looks like it is going to the cards but make no mistake that if Taylor stops Postol that will be a warning shot to everybody at 140lbs going into the WBSS .

Tommy Philbin Interview – As Tommy Gets Ready To Fight He Tells Us Just How Brutal The Boxing Business Has Been To Him

Tommy Philbin Interview – As Tommy Gets Ready To Fight He Tells Us Just How Brutal The Boxing Business Has Been To Him

In boxing it is imperative that you get yourself noticed as it is vital for fighters to be ticket sellers , so when Tommy Philbin won his Celtic Title against Rhys Pagen in a domestic fight of the year contender last November live on BoxNation he could have been forgiven for thinking that door’s just might be about to open for him , but as so many have found out doors are rarely opened for fighters , they usually have to be smashed in . Since winning the title in October Tommy has yet to defend it and his inactivity has left a sour taste in Philbins mouth .

” I have never felt about boxing how i feel now , i just felt like saying fuck this shit . I put myself through a lot and spend a lot of time away from my family . Twice i have been due to fight on shows and they have been called off , one of them was on the day of the fight . I was offered a fight in Wales fighting a guy who is 12-0-0 i said yes il take it until i found out they were offering £2500 , no chance when i was paid £3000 for winning the title . I want to be out there fighting trying to build a bit of momentum ”

Tommy who delivers fish as a day job talks me through what a usual day is like for him whilst getting ready for a fight .

” I get up at 3am get a shower and I’m out the door at 3.15am and i travel to Perth from Edinburgh and start work at 4am and I don’t get back home until 2pm . I get another shower and food then I’m back out the door for 3pm and off to the gym and that’s me until 7pm I get to see my kids for a wee while before they go to bed then I watch some tv and spend some time with my missus then I’m in bed for 10pm ”

As is so often the case with when talking about any pro boxers they need a strong a family behind them to pick up the slack and hold a family together , as a fight may only last 4,6,10 or 12 rounds but the camps can last 10 weeks and that means you need a strong partner to take on the responsibilities of both parents at times . Tommy has that in his long term partner Lauren who looks after there two children Charlie (6) and Anna Bella (4) . I asked Tommy where his and Laurens story started .

” She was a friend of a friends but she was a few years older than me but we had known each other for years . One day i was coming back from the gym on the bus and she came on the bus . We got talking and it just started from there ”

As is so often is the case in life when you are down the world can throw you a life line from nowhere . Last week Tommy Philbin got a call out of the blue asking home if he would be willing to fight on the Josh Taylor undercard in Glasgow on 11 days notice , an offer he couldn’t say no to .

” This is going to be brilliant and already the ticket enquiries have been going well because of the kind of bill I’m involved with and hopefully i can get a good win and push on from there .”

After a few week’s of confusion and anger being aimed at the Boxnation TV platform due to it’s lack of direction they announced a 12 fight deal with MTK which could be great news for guys like Tommy when the deal kicks off in August at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow’s east end .

” I have been asked to be on it (Glasgow show) provisionally . I am just outside the top 10 in Britain now and have an opportunity to build my profile even more and i need to make sure i get the fire back in my belly , pick up the win and push on ”

Tommy will be part of the biggest boxing card in Scotland recent years , if you want to be part of it get in touch with Tommy via Twitter @TommyPhilbin1 for tickets .

DJay’s Boxing News Picks

DJay’s Boxing News Picks

Tap Headline To Go To Story’s

Usyk vs Gassiev Date and Venue Hits The Rocks

If there is one mistake that the WBSS made it was selling the rights to the final of the Cruiserweight as they had no intention of hosting it . Now they have sold the right to the Russians and Usyk is refusing to fight in Russia due to his political beliefs

MTK Announce 12 Fight Deal With Boxnation

I think we are finally seeing what Frank Warren is looking to do with the BoxNation TV Channel after leaving consumers very unhappy in recent times

A Look Back At Ricky Burns Career

This man will go down as a legend in Scottish Boxing being our little nations first 3 weight World Champion

Wilder Accepts Low Ball Deal

Deontay Wilder has called Anthony Joshua’s bluff and accepted there lowball deal . I am still not confident this deal gets made anytime soon as AJ and his team have never shown any signs of wanting it .

Terrence Crawford Announces Himself At 147lbs

For me Crawford is the best fighter in the world to watch at the minute , the guy has everything needed to an all time great except the the CV . Let’s hope Top Rank make him the fights he deserves

Parker vs Whyte Made And Could Lead To A AJ Payday For The Winner

A really good fight this but how it has made it onto sky box office is beyond me . If Whyte gets the win here there is a strong argument for AJ/Whyte 2

Canelo Stripped of Ring Mag Crown

Well this is a turn up for the books as Ring looked to have let Canelo off last month but he now not even ranked by the Magazine

Derveyanchenko and Jacobs Ordered To Fight By IBF

This a must fight for Jacobs as it will give him real bargaining power when talking to the Big Boys such as GGG and Canelo not to mention strengthen his hand when dealing with Eddie Hearn on a promotional deal

Rocky Feilding will Fight Zeuge For The WBA “World” Super middleweight Title

I like Rocky Feilding so it’s nice to see a nice guy get the chance to fight for a world title .

Sanchez Slams IBF For stripping GGG

For once i am total agreement with Abel Sanchez here as GGG has ultimately been punished for Canelo failing a drug test