September 27, 2012
If Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. wants to earn the respect of boxing fans around the world the way his father did, he’s going to have to do some growing up…at least outside of the ring. Chavez lost his WBC World Middleweight Championship by unanimous decision to 37-year-old Sergio Martinez on Sept. 15 and was outclassed both in and out of the squared circle.
Sure, Chavez almost pulled it off with a last-round knockout, but Martinez got back to his feet after being decked in the 12th round. He fought back determinedly to make sure he wasn’t going to be upstaged by the youngster with the famous boxing bloodlines. For Chavez it was a case of too little too late. Only he knows the reason why he waited so long to finally take the initiative against his smaller and older challenger. It was a nice try, but to no avail as he lost by a pretty wide unanimous decision.
Perhaps the post-fight blood test can shed some light on this since Chavez tested positive for Marijuana. While this isn’t considered to be a drug used to gain an unfair advantage, it’s still on the banned substance list and a little odd for a boxer to have it in his bloodstream while training for the biggest fight of his career. What makes matters worse is the fact it’s the second time he’s failed a post-fight drug test. His punishment for this incident was a paltry $10,000 fine by the WBC. The organization also ordered Chavez to take a few rehabilitation classes and wants confirmation that he’s actually attending them and the money is reportedly going to be donated to a children’s cancer center.
Back in 2009 Chavez fought Troy Rowland and failed the post-fight test after a substance named Furosemide was found to be in his system. This is a diuretic which many athletes use to try and disguise steroid use and/or it’s also used a help them cut down on their weight. He was fined $10,000 as well back then for that indiscretion and was also handed a seven-month suspension.
In addition, the win against Rowland was wiped off his record and it now shows a “no contest.” Also, he showed a lack of judgement earlier in 2012 when he was pulled over in Los Angeles for drinking and driving and arrested for it. He came to a deal with the prosecutor and was placed on probation for three years. This isn’t really what you’d call good behavior for any citizen, especially a world boxing champion who’s trying to follow in his famous father’s footsteps.
You could argue that Chavez has had everything handed to him on a silver platter so far in his career. His father made millions during his career and Chavez Jr. benefited from it with the best trainers, facilities, and boxing equipment money can buy. Promoters were lined up at his door with contracts in hand trying to get his signature on one as soon as he turned pro. He’s been the recipient of a couple of dubious decisions and many boxing fans feel he’s been favored by the WBC and its Mexican president Jose Sulaiman.
Chavez was featured on national television broadcasts generally because of his name and not his skill during the early years of his pro career. Through no fault of Chavez’s, Sulaiman stripped Martinez of his middleweight title earlier this year for failing to fight the organization’s top contender and more or less handed it to Chavez. That’s what made the Sept. 15 battle between the two so important as it was to determine who the true champion is. Unfortunately for Chavez, he failed the test, and quite miserably some may add, even though trainer Freddie Roach was in his corner.
The problem with Chavez is that he’s not taking the sport seriously due to his actions and isn’t respecting the fans. Along with his failed drug tests he’s also skipped a test and has had problems making weight. This is a guy who’s very privileged and with a record of 46-1-1 with 32 KOs, obviously has the skills to become one of the best boxers of his era. However, he’s not going to achieve this unless he changes his ways pretty soon. Boxing fans may shun him no matter who his father is and a brilliant career could easily be wasted.
Chavez may get a harsh taste of reality when the Nevada Athletic Commission gets hold of his case since they may decide to come down hard on him for being a repeat offender. His wish for an immediate rematch with Martinez could fly out the window since there’s a good chance the Nevada commission will suspend him for several months. He may also be hit in the pocketbook again with a heftier fine in by therm. If he is suspended, all other states will recognize the ban and he’ll be on the outside looking in.
Bob Arum, Chavez’s promoter, said the boxer needs to grow up if he’s going to be successful in the sport. He said that he doesn’t consider marijuana use to be cheating, but it goes to show how immature he is and it’s disappointing. The pre-fight urine tests results haven’t been released by the commission as of yet. These are the blood tests that are given before a bout and are used to detect performance-enhancing substances. Chavez better hope that he passes that one with flying colors or his career could be over in a flash.