by Johnny Walker
Famed boxing promoter Bob Arum has launched a scathing attack on the members of the Nevada State Athletic Commission over the hefty fine handed down to his fighter Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for marijuana use.
“In the almost fifty years I’ve been in boxing, this was the stupidest decision I’ve ever seen an athletic commission come down with,” Arum said of the whopping $900,000 pot penalty (along with a nine-month suspension) given to Chavez when he tested positive ten days out from his 2012 fight with middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez. Chavez took a pasting from Martinez for the first ten rounds and rallied over the last two to almost pull off the upset.
“The commission didn’t know what it was doing,” a clearly agitated Arum told The Boxing Channel regarding the fine.
“Why should they be imposing any kind of fine on somebody who was smoking [pot] ten days before [the fight] when it’s legal in so many states?” Arum seethes. “I mean, let’s go into this century.”
“Have you smoked it? You’re goddam right you smoke it! Do I smoke it? You’re damn right I smoke it!” said Arum.
According to the promoter, the NSAC has its priorities totally wrong in an era where performance enhancing drugs (which marijuana is certainly not) have become a major issue.
“Let’s be honest, let’s be real,” Arum pleads.
“What they should be looking at is performancing enhancing drugs. Steroids, testosterone, there throw the book at somebody who violates. For smoking pot? Are you out of your mind? It’s a traffic ticket in most places.”
Arum also says he sees political motivations on the part of the NSAC, who he depicts as a group of right-wing Republicans out to get a Mexican national.
“The problem in Nevada is that you have a comission that is a bunch of conservative Republicans that would like to deport any Mexican that lives in Nevada and isn’t a citizen,” Arum charges.
“It’s a hard thing to say, but it’s really true. You can’t believe in your heart that if that was a commission made up of Democrats, particularly liberal Democrats, that they wouldn’t have just laughed at [the pot test] and maybe fined the guy a thousand dollars.
“I really think that Julio Chavez Jr. being a Mexican national allowed [the NSAC] to come down with what is an outrageous type of fine which violates the Nevada constitution and the US constitution.
“There is in both constitutions a prohibition against excessive fines. And they violated it.
“[The fine] is ludicrous, it’s absurd, it’s excessive, and it will be overturned by the courts.”