Nevada’s actions have now become Arizona’s problem.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, the Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously voted to extend a temporary suspension placed on former middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. during its monthly commission agenda held Wednesday morning at state headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. The suspension stems from his refusal to submit to an ordered Oct. 24 random drug test, evading contracted test collectors at the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood, California where he has been training. The ruling on Wednesday greatly impact Chavez Jr’s next scheduled bout, as the second-generation boxer is due to face fellow former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs (35-3, 29KOS) on Dec. 20 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
The bout was tentatively targeted to take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but changed locations after Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33KOs) was hit with the temporary suspension. In seeking to relocate the bout to Phoenix, the matter was placed before the Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Commission during its own bi-monthly agenda which took place Nov. 13 at state headquarters in Phoenix.
Wednesday’s ruling in Nevada, however, greatly impact the Dec. 20 event, in accordance with both governing bodies—along with all United States commissions—falling under the jurisdiction of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
“The Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission is committed to enforcing the law and supports effective and efficient regulation that enhances unarmed combat sports,” Ted Vogt, director of Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) told BoxingScene.com in an official statement.
The distinction is important, as there exists a working theory of this event becoming a matter of bait-and-switch.
Chavez Jr. has fought just once in the past 30 months, scoring a 1st round knockout of Evert Bravo this past August in his native Mexico. It was his first piece of ring action since a 12-round shutout loss to countryman Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their commercially successful Cinco de Mayo battle in May 2017, with his extended ring break largely attributable to an assortment of out-of-ring issues. It only adds to his troubled past history of missing weight and putting forth less than a full effort in training camp for past fights, prompting event handlers to carry a figurative insurance policy.
Veteran middleweight Gabriel Rosado (24-12-1, 14KOs) has been rumored as the emergency back-up plan in place, in the event that Chavez Jr. either winds up missing weight or simply bails from the event altogether. Rosado—born and bred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but who now lives and trains in Los Angeles, California—is currently slated to appear on the undercard versus the ever dangerous TBA, and in fact has been training at Wild Card and has sparred with Chavez Jr. in recent weeks.
For now, any such efforts to proceed with the event in current form will now officially come at the discretion of the presiding commission.
“Our attorneys are reviewing the actions taken today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in order to advise the Arizona Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts Commission on the appropriate next steps,” confirmed Vogt.
The Nevada commission is due to review Chavez Jr’s suspension during its next commission agenda, which is scheduled for Dec. 18. There remains the strong likelihood that the boxer will appear before the Arizona commission long before then, as he neither has a boxing license anywhere in the United States nor an active Federal boxing ID, which expired in April.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox