Boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was fined and suspended today after failing a drug test last year, before his Mexican Independence Day Fight in Las Vegas.
Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana in September after his first professional loss, resulting in a nine months suspension and fine of $900,000.
“I know I committed a big error. It was a mistake,” Chavez told the five commissioners. “I let a lot of people down.”
Chavez Jr. can’t explain why he smoked weed before a fight besides he was extremely stress. One puff is set to cost Chavez Jr. 30% of his $3 million purse, which is the second highest fine in Nevada combat sports history. It’s no surprise one person who was taken aback by the large fine was boxing promoter Bob Arum.
“The nine months is fine, but a 30 percent fine on a purse of $3 million, that’s extortion,” Arum told ESPN.com. “That means Julio has to make a decision — is he going to contest the fine in court or he can elect not to fight ever again in Nevada. There’s no question the nine months is the nine months, but it’s ridiculous money, particularly since you already take out 30 percent for taxes.
“I was hoping for nine months, that worked out. The fine is an absolute stunner. You don’t do that to an athlete. Which athlete in any sport has been fined as much as $900,000?”
Although the commission could have taken 100 % of his purse and banned him for a year since he has used banned substances in the past, having a good lawyer always helps.Since he used marijuana, which could be argued is not a performing enhancer drug, Chavez Jr. lawyer was able to ask for leniency.
“I’d like to fight as soon as I can,” Chavez said. “But I’m willing to accept anything you guys have because, like I said, I made a mistake, and I’m willing to take the punishment.”
His suspension is set to end June 15, and Bob Arum is currently planning his next fight for June 16.
“He’s going to fight June 16, we cleared that with the commission,” Arum said. “They told us we can promote the fight during the suspension as long as the fight takes place after the suspension is up. But we were not going to take this fight to Las Vegas anyway. We have a hold on a building in Texas or we may do the fight in the new arena in Mexico City. One thing we won’t do is have Chavez fight in Mexico during the suspension [where he could get a license].”
You would think if you’re going to partake in marijuana for leisure you would know when it would be out of your system, but judging from Chavez Jr. past he seems to have a problem with banned substance. He is currently (46-1-1), with so much to loss you have to be wiser young fellow.