Combat sports can be very taxing on the body which is why it’s always a surprises hearing an athlete is choosing to go vegan. According to Canelo Alvarez, he had switched to a vegan diet to prepare for his upcoming boxing match with Dmitry Bicol on May 7th.
This move signifies a move back up to light heavyweight and the first time Alvarez has competed at 175lbs since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in 2019. Alvarez is currently undisputed super middleweight champion.
Canelo’s decision to go vegan comes 4 years after a doping incident. According to Alvarez a contaminated sample of beef had caused him to fail a doping test. As a result of the tainted beef, Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol just 3 months before the rematch with Gennady Golovkin. At that point, animal rights advocates advised him to go vegan but it took him 4 years to make the switch.
Speaking with ESPN Desportes, Alvarez revealed he’s content with how the adaptation is going.
“I feel very good, my body is adapting very well. My stomach feels very good. I highly recommend it,” he said. “The truth is that I’m not very complicated when it comes to food, I adapt quickly.”
“It’s not something I grabbed all at once and gave up everything I was eating. Obviously all week I try to eat what is vegan and if some other day the opportunity arises to eat meat or chicken, I have no problem but I do try to stick to eating vegan all week.”
As a result of the failed doping test Alvarez was banned for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Alvarez is not the only combat sports athlete to blame tainted meet for a failed test – former UFC champion Brandon Moreno also provided the same reason when he failed a doping test.
Moreno failed back in 2017 – he was given an no fault finding from USADA and received no suspension. An old report on Moren’s case adds that Ning Guangyou, Augusto Montano, and Li Jingliang have all fallen victim to clenbuterol-tainted meat.