Unhappy with the apparent decision by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom boxing to circumvent their drug testing policies and procedures, the Nevada Athletic Commission fired off an inflammatory warning letter to the promoter earlier this week.
Boxingscene.com writer Thomas Hauser had more about the letter and the implications of it, as it relates to the new proposed site for the Daniel Jacobs-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight that is being allegedly moved to Arizona for December:
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) November 13, 2019
Jacobs, the former IBF Middleweight Champ, and Chavez, Jr. were slated to meet in Las Vegas, but controversy arose when Chavez avoided a drug testing sample collector from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) at his training gym late last month. Chavez reportedly hid from the representative, and then refused to give the sample before leaving.
On Friday, the Nevada Commission temporarily suspended Chavez pending a November 20th hearing about him evading the test.
Hearn did the deal to move the fight to Phoenix, AZ after the Chavez, Jr. controversy arose and announced it publicly early this week.
The letter sent from NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told Hearn and Matchroom that they are facing disciplinary action for having signed and agreed to the drug testing policies for the December 20th fight in Las Vegas, but now attempting to circumvent (or get around) the drug test.
The letter reads in part,
Nevada law prohibits any promoter licensed by the NSAC from having any dealings related to unarmed combat with a person who has been suspended by the NSAC. Nevada law also prohibits a promoter from permitting a person under suspension from participating in any contest or exhibition of unarmed combat during the period of suspension. Any violation of Nevada or Federal law by a licensed promoter provides grounds for disciplinary action.
The letter continues,
In addition, under the Ali Act, no boxer is permitted to box while under suspension from any boxing commission due to, among other things, failure of a drug test. Under Nevada law, an unarmed combatant that refuses to submit to the collection of a sample or specimen upon the request of the NSAC or its representative, or otherwise evades the collection thereof, has committed an anti-doping violation and is subject to disciplinary action just as he or she would be if he or she failed a drug test.
Based on Matchroom’s ongoing dealings with Chavez while he has been on suspension, it is apparent that Matchroom has violated Nevada law. Further, given that Chavez’s suspension is based on his refusal to submit to a drug test requested by the NSAC, and thus an anti-doping violation, it is apparent that the event scheduled to occur in Arizona on December 20, 2019, is in violation of the Ali Act.
As such, Matchroom is promoting an event that potentially violates federal law.”
Matchroom Boxing went ahead and put tickets on sale for Jacobs-Chavez on Wednesday.
By the way, this is exactly what we wrote about earlier this week with Hearn and Matchroom trying to avoid the appeals process for British Heavyweight Dillian Whyte and his pre-fight failed drug test from July. White is now apparently going to fight on the undercard of the Andy Ruiz – Anthony Joshua World Heavyweight Title bout December 7th in Saudi Arabia.
This despite not participating in the appeals process or facing sanction from the British Boxing Board of Control.
Essentially, it is the exact same tactic being used by Hearn/Matchroom, by which they have the fighter avoid the process and go fight somewhere outside of the jurisdiction of the governing body.
However, in the United States (as NSAC letter references) all of the state boxing commissions are to adhere to violations and disciplinary action taken in one state.
As Hauser wrote, it’s now more likely that Hearn will try to find another opponent for Jacobs for December 20th.
This, rather than continuing to risk not being able to promote in Las Vegas or perhaps in other states if they join in, because of Matchroom’s actions after Chavez’ failure to participate in drug testing.