By Jake Donovan
As was promised hours after his HBO-televised points loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. earlier this month, Marco Antonio Rubio has filed an official protest with the WBC, citing a breach of rules both before and after their February 4 bout in San Antonio.
The protest, filed on February 17, cites numerous violations of the WBC’s rules regarding mandatory drug testing, pre-fight safety weigh-in checks (30-day and 7-day) and other ringside matters.
“Based on those irregularities, (we demand) that the bout be annulled,” Rubio said in a statement released through the PR firm of his promoter, Promociones del Pueblo.
As has been the case far too often in his past bouts, there was much speculation over Chavez Jr’s inability to make weight prior to the second defense of his middleweight belt. Two separate open workouts were canceled, and the few pre-fight photos made available showed the second-generation Mexican prizefighter to look massive and well beyond the middleweight limit.
WBC rules require mandatory pre-fight safety weigh-ins at 30 days and 7 days prior to the fight. The 30-day weigh-in requires title fight participants to weigh no more than 10% of the contracted, and no more than 5% at the 7-day check point.
In the protest, Rubio notes a listed weight of 175 lb. on arrest report filed when Chavez was popped for a DUI less than two weeks before the fight. The 30-day checkpoint for a middleweight title fight would require participants to weigh no more than 176 lb.
While technically within the limit, it stands to reason – though for the moment only from a speculative standpoint – that he was considerably heavier at the 30-day check, unless the argument from the Chavez side is that he only lost one pound in two weeks, and then another seven pounds from that point until the 7-day safety check.
Either that, or no safety checks at all took place, which is more in line with the protest filed on Rubio’s behalf.
Chavez Jr. stripped down to his birthday suit on the day of the weigh-in, checking in at 159.5 lb, but ballooned up to 181 lb. by fight night.
More concerning to the Rubio camp, however, was the absence of post-fight drug testing.
“Despite Chavez’s prior history of using prohibited diuretics and the strict WBC anti-doping rules, neither the WBC nor the Texas Department of Combative Sports made any effort to drug-test Chavez after the bout,” said Rubio, through a media-released statement. “The protest further notes that these events have caused boxing insiders to question the integrity of the WBC’s anti-doping program as well as the Texas regulators’ impartiality.”
WBC rules require all official protests to be submitted to its longtime president, Jose Sulaiman. All protesting parties are granted the right to an impartial hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the event that prior mediation fails to resolve any existing disputes between camps.
Rubio - whose 10-fight win streak ended with the loss to Chavez Jr. - is represented by noted New York boxing attorney Richard Dolan in the protest.
Calls to Chavez Jr.’s camp seeking comment were not returned.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]