By Marc Livitz – “Say it ain’t so”, says Mexico.
After witnessing one of the most memorable displays of sheer guts and chutzpah in recent boxing memory, someone just had to spill the coffee even though the warning to mind the hot water was in plain view.
Provided the just surfaced reports are correct, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. hopefully has Plaxico Burress on speed dial. Signs are pointing to a failed drug test following this past Saturday night’s grandiose contribution to pugilistic lore.
There are momentary lapses of reason and there is also outright stupefaction at its finest. If the son of the legend from Culiacan did in fact test positive for marijuana, then a bit more is explained in terms of some of his punches sailing wider than a Buffalo Bills missed field goal, as well as his impressive pain threshold.
Those from the nation of sky high aren’t usually the most combative of chaps. Nevertheless since ESPN graciously gives us “Friday Night Fights” each year, then perhaps boxing can have its own rendition of “C’mon, Man!”.
We don’t even have to wait for HBO to replay the fight this coming Saturday evening.
It’s the last round of the otherwise whitewash displayed by universally recognized middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez that endeared Julio, Jr. to the boxing-crazed nation which he calls his home. Through the lot of eleven solid rounds, his opponent from Argentina used his face and body as an interactive heavy bag.
Then came the left….and a right….and the canvas. The Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas erupted as though a new fault line had just been introduced into the watershed of the Colorado river. Sergio appeared hurt, although it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the thought is anything but wishful thinking. He may not admit to it.
Had Chavez, Jr. been able to capitalize on a wounded opponent, his permanent position amongst boxing’s elite would have been cemented. At least that’s what the casual and uncultivated fans of the sweet science may have been led to conclude.
JCC, Jr. showed how eating the tomatoes from the tomato cans he faced earlier in his career may have actually helped him blossom into a viable torch bearer for the sport. He deserves credit for his efforts, but not necessarily an immediate rematch. Although the potential money to be made from a second meeting between the two would illicit the widest of smiles from the promoters involved, let’s not kid ourselves. Almost is even more bleak when it follows hopeless.
However just for a moment contemplate what may have nearly transpired.
Imagine that little Julio did indeed finish off the unthinkable task. He would be more popular in Mexico than Carlos Slim. Now throw in a filet mignon of sorts. Imagine that he wins all the meaningful middleweight titles across the board but then fails the drug test without trying to drink a little bit of vinegar and cranberry juice.
Would he be seen as an even bigger bum steer? How often does one practically blow a grand opportunity before he has a chance to blow it in reality? The answer? Just ask Chavez, Jr. It’s a deplorable and inexcusable shame.
For now, let’s allow all the facts to be presented and for all sides to be heard should they choose to speak. Chavez in the meantime can relax in his pink Speedos and a bag of weedo. Maybe next time he’ll realize a trainer and a roll each called “Roach” have two entirely different meanings.