- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Whispers have been floating about for a several weeks that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. hasn't treated training camp as seriously as he should have been, unsubstantiated stuff that hasn't been corroborated.
But just because a claim or an allegation hasn't been substantiated doesn't mean we must dismiss it. Even if it is without merit, it can still affect other people in the equation, right? We've been hearing, from people NOT within the camp of Chavez Jr. that Junior hasn't been training like you'd want him to train if you were his trainer, who wanted the very best version of the athlete defending his WBC middleweight title against Sergio Martinez on the night of Sept. 15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
So, what about it, Lou DiBella? Is Chavez Jr, who got popped for a DUI on Jan. 22 and was sentenced to three years' probation and had to attend 30 AA meetings, going off the rails before the biggest bout of his career?
"I don't believe that stuff. We don't listen to it," DiBella, Martinez's promoter, told NYFightBlog. "We are preparing for the best Chavez Jr., and we know he will be strong, and about 180 pounds on fight night."
The DUI news, which dropped right before Junior's last bout, against Andy Lee (TKO7 win) on June 16, was surprising -- but maybe it shouldn't have been, seeing that Chavez Sr. has made no secret of his own excessive drinking. He shared the pain he felt when he hit bottom, and that his son helped convince him to get help following his exit from the sport, as an active participant on the first installment of HBO's "24/7" documercial last Saturday.
My take: DiBella's thinking on the rumor mill material is spot on. He and Team Martinez can't even entertain the notion that Junior isn't treating this fight with anything but the utmost seriousness, lest they be lulled into a false sense of security. Also, it isn't "fair" when rumors like this whip around the sphere, but it is to be expected when such a family history exists and a recent arrest for a misdeed is fresh in peoples' minds.
Here's hoping that Junior's transgression was a one-time thing, that he learned his lesson and has a proper respect for the demon rum and rightful rules of the road.