By Jake Donovan
So far, the September 15 middleweight championship bout between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is still on as scheduled.
Due to the number of notable athletes who have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs this year alone, random drug testing has served as a major storyline for any big boxing event these days. There’s a legitimate sidebar that comes with the middleweight title fight, though for the moment the issue is being addressed head on.
Random testing was performed on both fighters for PED’s and masking agents, as ordered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for discretionary purposes. The fight takes place at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, within the jurisdiction of the NSAC.
Testing was done on July 11, with results coming back negative for both fighters.
"They're tested for dozens of other substances," said Kizer of the results, which came back today after being examined at Quest Lab in Lenexa, Kansas. "They're tested for all of that, and they came back negative for the masking agents, diuretics and anabolic steroids."
The fight marks the first return to Las Vegas for Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32KO) since he was suspended after testing positive for a banned diuretic following his Nov. ’09 fight with Troy Rowland. Chavez Jr. was forced to sit out for seven months, returning to the ring in June ’10 with new trainer Freddie Roach for a pay-per-view headliner against John Duddy in San Antonio.
Four of his six fights following the suspension have taken place in Texas, including both of his ring appearances in 2012. On each occasion, the subject of drug testing surfaced.
The absence of a post-fight test following his February win over Marco Antonio Rubio led to a formal protest filed by the Rubio camp, after being assured two days prior in the fighter’s meeting that drug testing would in fact take place.
Four months later, Chavez Jr. rallied to stop Andy Lee in the 7th round of their HBO headliner in El Paso, Texas. Shortly thereafter, the Lee camp began telling tales of the shoddy circumstances surrounding the means of securing samples from Chavez Jr.
Martinez (49-2-2, 28KO) has spent the past year or so calling out Chavez Jr. The lineal middleweight king was forced to vacate the very alphabet title in his future opponent’s possession and has been on a mission to retrieve it.
Shortly after the fight was officially announced during the recent press tour, Martinez has since gone on record to claim that he initially requested Olympic-style drug testing but that Chavez Jr. allegedly refused to accommodate. Martinez and his handlers have nevertheless agreed to the fight.
The efforts made by the Nevada State Athletic Commission – similar to the protocol taken for the superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas this past May - are somewhat of a fair compromise.
There is a legitimate argument to be made that its testing levels aren’t as strict as organizations such as VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency). Nevertheless, the news reported so far means one more fight remaining on the schedule.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox