Saying that he takes “full responsibility for my actions and the consequences thereof,” middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. acknowledged having tested positive for marijuana metabolites consistent with the use of the drug in the aftermath of his unanimous decision loss to RING champion Sergio Martinez that dethroned him as WBC titleholder on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.
“Any explanation or justification that I can attempt to provide about the recent developments will not be enough or not convincing, so I want to make it known to everyone that I take full responsibility for my actions and the consequences thereof,” read a statement that has been attributed to Chavez’s Twitter account, and which was authenticated by Top Rank Inc. publicist Ricardo Jiminez.
“I want to apologize to all of those who are disappointed or aggrieved by my behavior. Only I know the cause [of the failed test] and only I will take responsibility. In contrast, I can say that I will emerge stronger from these events and I will vindicate my image in society.”
The post-fight infraction was confirmed by Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer on Friday, and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said Chavez planned to address the issue in a hearing with the Nevada Commission.
“Everything that happened generates an environment conducive to stopping and thinking about the future. Now its time to create the new Julio Cesar Chavez, to begin a stage to restore my career,” Chavez’s statement continued.
“I will prepare myself physically and mentally, to achieve new goals in the short term, [and one of them] is definitely a rematch with Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez. I take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support that I have received and also recognize all of those who have sent messages of any kind.”
During a call from RingTV.com, Arum expressed optimism upon hearing Chavez’s words for the first time.
“It’s a great statement that shows a lot of maturity. To me, it’s very gratifying, because it shows maturity and it demonstrates that he has learned from this incident,” said Arum.
“I applaud the statement, and trust me, I had nothing to do with writing it, and I didn’t even know about it, so I am very gratified. “
But if Chavez is found guilty, he can be penalized or fined for the entire amount of his $3 million purse, suspended for up to a year, or a combination of both.
Chavez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) is being associated with either a banned substance or alcohol abuse for at least the third time in his career, having tested positive for a banned diuretic following his unanimous decision victory over Troy Rowland in November, of 2009, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The result of the Rowland fight was later changed to a “no decision,” Chavez was fined $10,000, and he was suspended for seven months by the NSAC.
Chavez was also arrested on Jan. 22 for driving drunk, just a week before his fight with Marco Antonio Rubio in Texas. He later struck a plea deal in mid-June, which granted him three years of probation and ordered him to to attend 30 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, the latter of which he already had completed.
In spite of his legal issue, Chavez successfully defended his belt against Rubio on Feb. 4 in San Antonio on HBO despite being in relatively bad shape and having to lose a large amount of weight the day before the fight.
Chavez was in much better shape for his seventh-round stoppage victory over challenger Andy Lee in June.
He dropped Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) in the 12th round of the HBO PPV-televised fight that he was awarded only four of the 36 rounds scored by judges Dave Moretti, Adalaide Byrd and Stanley Christodoulu, who had Martinez winning, 118-109 (twice) and 117-110.
“Julio has got to prepare better for his fights,” said Arum, “and not get involved in any more nonsense.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org