Arum sees nothing wrong with smoking pot
MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum has again jumped to the defense of young Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for marijuana.
Chavez, the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., admitted to smoking marijuana prior to his September 2012 bout against Argentina’s Sergio Martinez. He was eventually suspended for nine months and fined $900,000, although the amount was eventually reduced to $100,000.
Speaking to RingTV in a conference call, Chavez said he has learned from his mistake.
“You make mistakes. It happens. Everyone makes mistakes. We’re all human. I thought it was kind of excessive, what I got for that infraction, but it comes with the territory,” said Chavez. “I’ve learned from it, and I need to show everyone that I’m back and what I’m capable of doing.”
Arum defended the young boxer again, and even stressed that “there is nothing wrong with marijuana.”
“I want to go on record as saying that there is nothing wrong with smoking pot. There is nothing wrong with marijuana… There is nothing wrong with pot and pot can absolutely even be beneficial,” Arum said.
“Any sentence and any suspension for an athlete for having smoked marijuana other than when he was actually performing in the ring is unconscionable, is wrong, and even WADA has said the same thing. Let’s be real about it,” he stressed.
“I know what Julio has said about doing wrong, and I don’t think he did anything wrong by taking marijuana two weeks prior to his fight with Martinez,” Arum added.
Chavez, for his part, seems determined to put the issue behind him and focus on his upcoming bout against Bryan Vera, which will be his first boxing match since losing to Martinez last year.
“This Saturday, I want to give a great performance and I want everybody to be proud of what I’m going to do on Saturday,” he said. “That’s why I’ve worked so hard. I’m really looking forward to erasing all of those memories of that bad night that I had.”