Nevada Athletic Commission determines Canelo's hand wraps are within its rules

Kevin IoleCombat columnist
Canelo Alvarez will fight Gennady Golovkin on May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Getty Images)
Canelo Alvarez will fight Gennady Golovkin on May 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Getty Images)

Only a day after Gennady Golovkin’s trainer raised an objection to the way Canelo Alvarez wraps his hands, the Nevada Athletic Commission ruled in favor of Alvarez.

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, highly regarded trainer Abel Sanchez said the Nevada commission displayed favoritism toward Alvarez. One of the things he mentioned was that Alvarez wrapped his hands with a technique referred to as stacking.

On Wednesday, Sanchez spoke at length about it with Yahoo Sports:

They put the gauze on his hand and he put one layer of gauze on the hand and then they put the tape on top of the gauze,” Sanchez said. “Immediately, I caught that and I said, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! That’s illegal. He can’t do that.’ And the inspector looked at me and said, ‘Yes, he can do that.’ It’s called stacking and it’s illegal and you can’t do that. It’s creating a cast. We kept going back and forth to the point where he threatened to throw me out of the room.

“But they put a layer of gauze on and then two or three layers of tape on top of that, and then gauze and tape again. That’s illegal.

On Thursday, Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler and Alvarez promoter Eric Gomez met in Las Vegas with Anthony Marnell, the chairman of the commission, and Bob Bennett, its executive director. Marnell and Bennett ruled that the way Alvarez has wrapped his hands was within the rules.

“Canelo has wrapped his hands this way wherever he has fought and he is doing nothing wrong and he is not cheating,” said Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions. “The commission agreed that he didn’t break any rules and everything that was done with consistent with the rules.”

The rules regarding hand wraps are addressed in commission regulation 467.432, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 are relevant in this case:

NAC 467.432 Bandages for hands of unarmed combatant. (NRS 467.030)

     1. Bandages on the hand of an unarmed combatant may not exceed one winding of surgeon’s adhesive tape, not over 2 inches wide, placed directly on the hand to protect the part of the hand near the wrist. The tape may cross the back of the hand twice, but may not extend within three-fourths of an inch of the knuckles when the hand is clenched to make a fist.

     2. Each unarmed combatant shall use soft surgical bandage not over 2 inches wide, held in place by not more than 10 feet of surgeon’s adhesive tape for each hand. Up to one 20-yard roll of bandage may be used to complete the wrappings for each hand. Strips of tape may be used between the fingers to hold down the bandages.

Loeffler said he found the rule to be ambiguous and open to interpretation. But he said that after the decision Thursday, Golovkin will move forward.

“We read that and interpreted it one way and they interpreted it another,” Loeffler said.

Marnell and Bennett told the promoters they continue to investigate Alvarez’s failed drug tests, in which the fighter claims his positive test for the banned substance Clenbuterol is as a result of eating contaminated meat.

Gomez said Alvarez and Golden Boy have and will continue to cooperate fully.

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