Sergey Kovalev vs Bektemir Melikuziev officially canceled after Kovalev fails drug test

The Jan. 30 fight between Sergey Kovalev and Bektemir Melikuziev has officially been canceled, which is probably news you expected after it was reported that Kovalev failed a drug test for synthetic testosterone.

“Upon learning of Kovalev’s adverse finding, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) determined that they must cancel the event,” Golden Boy Promotions announced via press release. They added, “While we are crushed for ‘The Bully’ (Melikuziev), we know that he will nevertheless have a tremendous year in 2021. We look forward to our next scheduled boxing event on Feb. 13.”

The fight between the 37-year-old Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO) and Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KO) had originally been set for Russia, but was moved to California just a few days ago. It’s unlikely we’ll see this rescheduled unless Kovalev popped with a false positive, which is quite rare, and depending on the further results of the drug test findings, Kovalev might find it tough to get a decent fight this year.

It’s notable that the Jan. 30 date once looked incredibly busy with four televised cards, but three of those (Kovalev-Melikuziev, Avanesyan-Kelly, and Beterbiev-Deines) were canceled or postponed. We are now down to Caleb Plant’s return on FOX against Caleb Truax.

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