I knew I liked Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
For the uninitiated, Chavez Jr. is a boxer and the son of Hall of Fame legend Julio Cesar Chavez. During the early part of his career, he used his famous name to beat up club fighters in Mexico, rather than work the amateur circuit. He made money, knocked guys out, and, if the events surrounding his last two fights are any indication, likely partied a lot.
Two weeks before Chavez Jr.’s fight against Marco Antonio Rubio in February, he was arrested for DUI at 4:38 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Drinking and driving is dumb, and, obviously, illegal. Drinking two weeks before a fight – a time when fighters are supposed to be cutting weight and entering the final phases of training – is insane. Consider that Bernard Hopkins never drinks, smokes, and cuts out sex two months before a fight. Nevertheless, Chavez Jr. cruised to a unanimous decision.
His last fight was September 15, a loss to Sergio Martinez. He lost widely on the scorecards, but also came thisclose to knocking Martinez out in a classic twelfth round. On Wednesday, it came out that Chavez Jr. also tested positive for marijuana following the fight.
"The commission let (Top Rank's Carl) Moretti know (Tuesday) night that he tested positive," Top Rank chief Bob Arum told ESPN.com. "I can't really get excited about it. There's no promoter in boxing who could pass the marijuana test, including myself.”
Well, I didn’t expect that kind of admission from the 80-year-old promoter…but, respect.
More respect (if not amazement) to Chavez Jr. How he can possibly drink and smoke weed so close to a fight and still have a record of 47-1-1 is absolutely astounding.
Chavez Jr., it’s safe to say, is a bit of a dumbass. But he fights like hell and clearly doesn’t give a damn about what you or anyone else thinks about him. He’s had to shrug off critics who say he’s only getting paid because of his name, and earned a legit title doing it his own way.
I thought Chavez Jr. might lose to Martinez this weekend but I love Chavez Jr. in the rematch, an assessment Jim Lampley agreed with on a recent phone interview. Perhaps if he, you know, doesn’t get high or drunk before the fight, he’ll come away with a victory.