Julio Cesar Chavez Jr: I Have Never Smoked Marijuana

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2012

Chavez Jr. says he never touched marijuana.
Chavez Jr. says he never touched marijuana.Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

In a far-reaching interview, televised from his home in Mexico, former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. addressed a variety of topics, including his recent failed drug test

"I'm not a drug addict, I have never smoked marijuana," Chavez told Mexican television (via Boxingscene.com)

"For years I have had insomnia, so I went to the doctor and he prescribed some drops for me that contained cannabis. I stopped taking them before the fight with 'Maravilla' Martinez, and I didn't think I was going to test positive."

These statements are consistent with those made by the Chavez camp when news broke, just days after his decision loss to Martinez—that he had tested positive for marijuana.

In addition to being illegal, marijuana is a banned substance under the Nevada State Athletic Commission's rules.

For many this may seem an unbelievable defense and a standard response for athletes who have found themselves on the wrong end of a drug test. 

Chavez was also critical of the World Boxing Council who sanctioned his fight with Martinez and whose championship title he defended and lost to him.

Earlier this week, the WBC fined Chavez Jr. for the infraction and ordered him into rehab.

It also comes amid statements from the President of the WBC Jose Sulaiman that Chavez Jr. also has a severe gambling addiction: "[He makes all of this money] and just gives it [right back] to the casinos, and that is truly terrible," Sulaiman told Miguel Rivera of Boxingscene.com.

"He has lost his head. He is no longer the young man that I knew. He's become sour and has a passion to throw his money away and that isn't normal."

Chavez Jr. did not address the gambling story, but was adamant about not being addicted to drugs and not needing rehab.

He also addressed rumors that his training camp was sub-par for the Martinez fight. Strange stories of Chavez Jr. being unwilling to train and holding sessions in his living room in his underwear in the middle of the night surfaced after the fight.

International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who handles the corner for Chavez Jr., was reportedly very disappointed in the effort put forth by his fighter in camp. 

Many have questioned whether Roach lost his fighter and if a change might be necessary to get him back on track. 

Chavez Jr. acknowledged his problems in his training camp, but reaffirmed his commitment to having the hall of famer in his corner: "I'm happy with Freddie Roach. I've progressed with him, but for this match it did not work well."

Chavez Jr. went on to state that the presence of his father, legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., complicated matters in training.

"Roach told me one thing, and my father said another, and that I created confusion. This time the presence of my father was complicated." 

With the prospect of a rematch looming there will need to be substantial improvements made if Julio hopes to compete with Martinez. Martinez won all but 90 seconds of their first fight. 

Granted those 90 seconds were some of the highest drama we've seen in boxing in years, but up to that point the fight was a total mis-match.