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Sunday, February 5, 2012
Rubio insinuates Chavez Jr. uses PEDs

By Michael Woods

Shame on Marco Antonio Rubio. His foe at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., outfought him, by a wide margin. Chavez won a unanimous decision, by scores of 118-110 (to me, spot on) and 116-112 (not spot on) and 115-113 (not in the ballpark). Rubio threw a lot, but his punches lacked pop, and much of his time was spent expending wasted motion.

Rubio, in my opinion, was very fortunate to get this title shot. In a previous opportunity, against Kelly Pavlik in 2009, he simply stunk the joint out. To his credit, he won 10 straight after that, though his opponents were of mixed caliber. In San Antonio, he gave an earnest, if thoroughly unexceptional effort. He could have been thankful for the opportunity, taken his more-than healthy check, tipped his cap to Chavez and been on his way. But instead, in a video interview on the Boxing Channel, he chose after the bout to take an ever more-common route following a loss: He insinuated that his foe was a cheater. Rubio said that no PED testing was done for the bout, said he was surprised at how well Chavez recuperated during the bout and therefore suspects he was using an illegal performance-enhancing supplement or supplements.

Not cool.

If there is smoke, then we can talk fire. But just because someone shows more strength and stamina than you thought he possessed, you can't go and contribute to hurting his rep by calling him a cheater.

Shame on Rubio.

"I felt him very big," the Mexican said in Spanish, "he regained a lot of weight. I regained my usual weight." He had a point there, as Chavez gained 22 pounds from the Friday weigh-in, when he was 159½ pounds, to fight night. This meant he was at 181 pounds and Rubio weighed 171. All organizations should cap the amount of weight a fighter can gain from weigh-in to fight night, at no more than 10 or 12 pounds. This would help ensure an even playing field and encourage men not to put themselves at risk by starving themselves to make a lower weight class than their body can handle.

"I don't want to make any excuses, he beat me," Rubio said. But he then went off the script, saying Chavez fought a "real dirty" fight. "They didn't even do any testing, which should have been done," he said. Asked explicitly if he believes Junior dopes, Rubio said, "I feel he recouped exceptionally fast. This really took us by surprise. There was no testing done, and in a championship fight, testing needs to be done. There was no weigh-ins done the days or weeks before the fight, and I feel that he was very well-protected." Rubio did finish by saying he thinks Junior is a "good fighter" but that he thinks Sergio Martinez is the real middleweight champion.

Note: I am not certain about the testing that did or didn't go on in Texas. If typical routines were not followed -- and that wouldn't surprise me; Texas is something of a rogue commission at times -- then Rubio makes a decent point. But it isn't right to make a leap of logic, that because there was no testing and Junior was strong that he's using.

Rubio owes Chavez Jr. an apology.