Julio César Chávez made a shocking admission ahead of his exhibition bout with Jorge Arce on Friday in Tijuana, Mexico, live on DAZN in the U.S. After admitting that his preferred opponent for the exhibition would be Oscar De La Hoya, the Mexican legend explained that his drug addiction may have had a bigger effect on him than any punch landed by the Golden Boy in their two previous meetings.
The 47-year-old De La Hoya and the 58-year old Chávez have battled twice before in the professional ranks. They squared off in June 1996 with De La Hoya pummeling Chávez to win by fourth-round TKO to capture the WBC super lightweight championship. A little more than two years later, they locked horns with De La Hoya battering Chávez again to retain the WBC welterweight title. Chavez revealed the reason he'd like a third crack at De La Hoya.
"The times I fought with (De La Hoya), my addiction was very severe," Chávez told DAZN. "As much as I trained, I did a lot of cocaine, and I wasn't myself. Now, like I said, thank God I'm 11 years clean."
Now, Chávez is doing what he can to help others who are battling drug addiction. The proceeds for his exhibition event vs. Arce will be donated to charity to support Chávez's drug rehab center.
Earlier in September, Chávez had laid down a challenge to De La Hoya to meet him in an exhibition bout. According to Chávez, there were plans for the two stars to do such a contest, but COVID-19 ruined those plans. That hasn't stopped Chávez from still wanting a crack at De La Hoya with people in attendance once the pandemic allows fans.
"We were going to do an exhibition with Oscar De La Hoya in December here in the Estadio Caliente for 40-50,000 people," Chávez said. "But the pandemic came along, and we had to change everything. I want one or two more (exhibitions), and then I'm done. Then I'm done. But I want to do them with a crowd. Maybe I'll go to Mexico City to Estadio Azteca to some 100,000 people in there with De La Hoya."
Chávez wants to make it clear that if they do meet, the result won't be what it was in their two previous contests.
"I think things will be different, even though it's with headgear," Chávez bluntly said. "Things will be totally different."