Al Bernstein, whose Boxing Channel covered the Chavez vs Rubio festivities extensively this weekend in San Antonio, says tonight that Marco Antonio Rubio suspects Julio Cesar Chavez Jr may have had the aid of performance-enhancing drugs last night. Chavez defeated Rubio by unanimous decision in a hard-fought if somewhat sluggish bout in the HBO main event.
My response on Twitter was, "Ah, jeez..." to which Bernstein said, "Well put." I think we're kind of on the same page here. It's a big can of worms.
Look, I'm all for opening up the conversation about performance-enhancing drugs in boxing, but so much of this stuff is just hash-slinging and in no way "educational" or anything like that.
What Floyd Mayweather Jr has done has all but accidentally brought better testing ideas to the discussion in boxing, even if he's basically the only guy using them. That was the big opening of the doors. But Mayweather's crusade has educated nobody about anything, and has been entirely self-serving. He's changed nothing, and make no mistake, he has no plans to change anything on a large scale. He's not exactly petitioning Keith Kizer to make this standard procedure for fights in Nevada or anything.
With the lack of education comes something of a hysteria about this topic. I didn't like it last year when Andre Berto accused Victor Ortiz of using steroids or the like, and I don't like this either. I don't like it because to throw this stuff around with no proof is ridiculous and in some cases, quite damaging. I'm not saying I know Chavez is clean; I'm saying, as always, that I have no idea one way or the other. Only he knows, because we're all quite aware that unless someone is real dumb about what they're doing, the athletic commission tests aren't catching anybody.
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Plus, Chavez did visibly tire in the fight. He gutted through it, which would not be the first time we've seen a fighter who is completely zonked dig down deep and power his way through a fight. Chavez even said his legs felt weak late in the fight. He made quite clear his conditioning wasn't what he wanted it to be, and that it had a negative impact on him in the fight.
Rubio just has no reason to suspect this unless he knows something for sure, which it doesn't sound like he does. Brandon Rios failed to make weight in December and fought a hard pace for 11 brutal rounds with John Murray, and he showed up to his weigh-in looking like a dead man. It's a reckless claim by Rubio, simple as that.