Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is the favored fighter on Saturday - in every way, if you ask Marco Antonio Rubio. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
On Sunday, Marco Antonio Rubio's team sent a formal letter to the WBC asking them to replace referee Guadalupe Garcia for Saturday's fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, but today the WBC has rejected the request, and organizational dictator Jose Sulaiman is explaining his position:
"We hope that Rubio and his team will have confidence in Lupe Garcia. This is not a dirty fight, but a match between two guys who go about their business. Both of them are excellent fighters, clean, and have an advantage because the referee speaks Spanish. There could be a problem if you appoint someone who does not speak our language. The WBC gives a vote of confidence to Lupe. Will be someone there to witness what happens. We are confident that everything will be fine."
This is sort of like Al Swearengen vouching for the niceness of Dan Dority, or Tony Soprano assuring a rival that Silvio Dante would be a fun travel partner for a trip into the woods.
The problem here is that Rubio feels the deck is being stacked against him with Garcia, a Mexican referee he worries will show favoritism to favored son Chavez. Sulaiman's vote of confidence isn't exactly reassuring since Rubio clearly feels the WBC is part of the reason the deck is stacked.
Rubio (53-5-1, 46 KO) has stated that he already feels he needs a knockout, so this isn't a new worry from him that popped up out of nowhere, and he's also obviously not taking any comfort from the fact that he's as Mexican as Garcia, Sulaiman, or Chavez. In some ways, no one is as Mexican as Chavez. That's his concern.
My favorite part is probably Sulaiman pushing the idea that there are so few international referees who speak Spanish.