Chavez Jr: Did he deserve the huge fine?
By Lance Lank: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. recently received a nine month suspension and a $900,000 fine for having marijuana in his system following his fight with Sergio Martinez. At first glance, this seems outrageously excessive. After all, other fighters have failed tests with actual performance enhancing drugs and received less severe punishments.
Even for a second offense this punishment seems extreme for a recreational drug that apparently has no effect that would help one in a boxing match.
However, Chavez Jr. isn’t your normal prizefighter. He routinely weighs 30 plus pounds above the middleweight limit of 160 when he enters the ring. This means he puts on 30 pounds or more in just over 24 hours between the weigh-in and his actual fights. Now many fighters put on 10-15 pounds by rehydrating. A fighter sweats out that much in water weight and then gulps down massive amounts of water to get back to their fighting weight.
Now as most adults know from their days in high school and/or college marijuana produces “cotton mouth” where one’s mouth becomes extremely dry and makes one more than a little thirsty. Secondly, marijuana is also known for producing the “munchies” where the partaker of cannabis becomes unusually hungry and can eat more than normal.
For a fighter that relies almost solely on an enormous size advantage such as Chavez Jr., one can see how partaking of the ganja after the weigh-in can help put on some extra pounds that he uses to his advantage. Chavez Jr. is no doubt in shape enough where a few extra pounds isn’t going to slow him down enough to be a real detriment. After all, his hand and foot speed are two of his major weaknesses in all his fights anyway.
For a professional boxer that uses good technique and knows how to put all his weight into his punches, the more weight he can put into a punch the more damage his punches will have. Thus, is it possible that Chavez Jr. used marijuana to add extra weight? He refused to be weighed prior to entering the ring against Martinez and in his previous bout he weighed 190 pounds when he fought. He very well may have been 200 pounds, and thus essentially a heavyweight fighting a middleweight.
For most fighters marijuana would be nothing but a detriment to their performance but for one that relies almost exclusively on an unbelievable weight advantage and power this recreational drug actually helps with the one asset he relies one.
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