Chavez: 'It was only a mistake'
Former middleweight champion says he doesn't have a drug problem
After hearing of his nine-month suspension and the gigantic $900,000 fine by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a drug test following his loss to Sergio Martinez last fall in Las Vegas, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. spoke to David Faitelson and Diana Reyes on ESPN Deportes' Nacion ESPN show.
What's your opinion on the sanction that the Nevada Athletic Commission has imposed on you? What are your impressions of the nine-month suspension and $900,000 fine?
Truth being told, I'm happy because, thank God, I will be able to fight starting June 15. As for the rest, my lawyers will take care of that. Yes, I thought it was a lot, but -- well, you have to pay.
$900,000 is a very significant amount.
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Will you take any actions regarding the punishment? Will you appeal the sanction?
Yes, I believe my lawyers are looking into that, because in previous cases there has never been a sanction fining that much money, and we want to appeal. The truth is, that isn't our job. I'm just happy to be able to fight in June.
So your plan is to return to the ring on June 15?
I believe they told me I could fight June 16. They told me about two opponents: Matthew Macklin and Brian Vera. That's what I know now. Logically, we started making plans because we didn't [make any] before knowing what the [commission's decision would be].
After this sanction, will you fight again in Las Vegas or will you look for other sites?
As of now, [my next] fight would be here [in Mexico City] or in some city in the United States. I don't believe it will be Las Vegas, but of course I would love to fight again in Las Vegas. It was a great experience fighting on Sept. 15, and I would like to do it again.
What about Sergio Martinez? Do you want to fight him?
Of course, yes. Everything looks like if he wins his fight -- I believe he fights in April [Editor's note: Martinez will fight Martin Murray on April 27] -- and I win in June if the fight is made, the rematch would be in November. I hope he doesn't chicken out; maybe he got scared after the last round [of our first fight].
What changes do you have to make in your corner? What changes do you need to make in your preparation to beat someone like Martinez and get the middleweight title back?
The truth is that I have to make many changes -- not only on the boxing side, but on a personal level. There were many things. I fought four times in one year with the best fighters in the world. Four times was too many. I [made] many sacrifices, and it came back to haunt me in the Martinez fight. But in the Martinez fight, I got a lot of experience. Really, that fight helped me a lot; I think I'm a better fighter now than before that fight.
There are some doubts about who your trainer will be. Who would be your trainer for the next cycle?
I haven't made the decision on who my trainer would be. In the meantime, I'm working with [Vladimir Valdenegro], whom I've been with for 10 years. He's training with me; we've been training for a month.
So Freddie Roach, as of this moment, isn't your trainer?
We have not spoken with Freddie Roach about it. We will make the call in the next few days.
But would you like to work with Freddie Roach again?
Yes, I would love [to work] with Freddie Roach. He is a good trainer -- one of the best, or the best, trainer I know. The only thing there -- I feel that for what was said, there is some sense of not being comfortable or maybe we don't understand [each other] well.
After all this time, the punishment, the repeated offenses during your career and being away from the ring, have you matured?
A lot, really a lot. The truth is, I have matured a lot. This will help me be more serious in the sport that I now love more than ever and -- well, now it's my time to change, show the fans a good image of myself, what I really am and that [the positive test] was just a mistake.
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Do you have a drug problem?
No, no way. That's totally absurd. I have been training every day for 10 years to box. It was only a mistake I made. I did nothing to hurt anyone. No, seriously, nothing. You know me, David. People who know me know [that I have] nothing to do with [drugs].
But do you have problems with alcohol consumption?
No, not at all. Really, the last time I drank was when I got arrested in Los Angeles [in January 2012].
Will you take your career seriously, give yourself over totally to the work and show the necessary discipline?
Of course, yes. I'm hungrier today than ever. I'm going to really concentrate, and I think people will see a different Julio -- a Julio that they want to see, who obeys more, who is more disciplined and follows what he is told. I think that you need that to be successful in the sport.
Has the relationship with your father [Hall of Famer Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.] gotten better or worse?
It was never bad. The relationship was never bad, but sometimes we had different points of view. My relationship with my father is perfectly well. I love him a lot.
Will you be a world champion again?
Of course, I promise.
Do you think that Canelo Alvarez's April 20 fight with Austin Trout and a possible showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is showing what he's worth to boxing? Will this be a test for Canelo?
I think people forced him [to make big fights]. They forced him, and he needed this fight. It's an even fight. We will see how far he can go, and how he will look against a world champion.
The rematch with Martinez -- do you want it this year? Do you think it could happen in 2013?
Yes, we are talking about November. Yes, I think so. I have been training and I'm ready for the rematch, if everything goes well in my next fight.
He's asking for [random] anti-doping blood tests. Are you willing to accept those blood tests?
Yes, I'm willing. I'm willing to do what he wants.
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