Attorneys for former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are requesting that the fighter be suspended for no more than six months and fined no more than $10,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as punishment for Chavez’s positive post-fight drug test after his unanimous-decision loss to RING champion Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas last September.
Having tested positive for marijuana metabolites consistent with the use of the drug, Chavez’s infraction could lead to a suspension, a fine or both when his case is officially reviewed by the NSAC “sometime in late February,” according to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer,
Chavez is being represented by Las Vegas-based Colby Williams and Don Campbell of the Campbell and Williams law firm, and, if found guilty, can be penalized or fined for the entire amount of his $3 million purse, suspended for up to a year, or a combination thereof.
Since Chavez’s penalty would begin from the date of his last fight, that with Martinez on Sept. 15, Arum’s goal would be possible if Chavez receives a suspension of nine months or less.
Within a week of falling to Martinez, Chavez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) claimed “full responsibility for my actions and the consequences thereof” in acknowledging his positive test.
“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. 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,” read a statement that has been attributed to Chavez’s Twitter account, and which was authenticated by Top Rank Inc. publicist Ricardo Jiminez.
“In contrast, I can say that I will emerge stronger from these events and I will vindicate my image in society. 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. 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.”
Chavez 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 of last year for driving drunk, just a week before his fight with Marco Antonio Rubio in Texas. Chavez later struck a plea deal in mid-June of last year, 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 of last year 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 physical condition for his seventh-round stoppage victory over challenger Andy Lee last June.
Chavez later dropped Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) in the 12th round of their HBO PPV-televised fight during which 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.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com