BOXING has a way of getting drawn into messy circumstances.
Amid the good energy transmitted from Terence Crawford’s genius, news came in that the Anthony Joshua versus Dillian Whyte rematch had been cancelled. Whyte, we know, returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). There is never a right time for scandal in boxing and it is certainly not needed now.
I cannot say that Whyte is guilty of taking any substance but, whatever the truth, he has been in a similar position twice before. In 2012, he was given a two-year suspension after he tested positive for a banned stimulant.
Then again in 2019, just before his fight with Oscar Rivas, Whyte returned a positive test in the build-up. Whyte was facing a lengthy suspension, but the fight went ahead and all charges against him were later dropped.
The fact that Whyte is in this position again confounded me. Why would he intentionally take a banned substance when one considers what was at stake, particularly at this stage of his career? I know Dillian and I would like to think his test is the result of a mistake or error. I do not believe he would have taken anything intentionally, and I know he is confident that he can defeat Joshua.
After one of my fights, I was informed in a letter from the British Boxing Board of Control, that a banned substance, ephedrine, had been found in my system following a test. I had no idea what ephedrine was, nor how it could have got into my system. I was very concerned.
We realised it came from a decongestion spray that I had used to clear my blocked nose in the weeks leading up to my fight. After that, I made sure never to use any decongestion spray, rub or medication of any description before any fights.
But we’re in the thick of another mess without a global authority to rule over the sport. Other leading sports have world governing bodies. Boxing, however, operates zonally.
An example of the chaos: When I was in America, if any boxers failed their boxing medical in one state, they were not concerned because they knew they could pass a medical in another.
When it comes to drugs in boxing, there must be a solution. Perhaps a good start would be this: Boxers who are monitoring their weight are used to having food diaries so when a big fight is signed, in any weight class, both teams agree to do a consumption or intake diary of all supplements and medication.
Until there is unity among all of the boxing authorities, and one rule stands, there will always be problems like this.