Boxing


Antonio Margarito To Seek Licence To Box In Nevada This Friday; Arum "Optimistic The Nevada Commission Will Do The Right Thing"

boxingby James Slater - There surely isn't a fight fan out there who doesn't know the Antonio Margarito story: how the once hero-worshipped Mexican warrior fell out of favour with his many fans due to how his hands were illegally wrapped ahead of his losing fight with "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Since that January 2009 TKO loss, "Toney" has not been allowed to box anywhere in America, but this coming Friday, as ESPN.com has reported, the 32-year-old will apply for a licence to box in the state of Nevada.

Reportedly, Margarito - who returned with a points win in Mexico back in May - will apply in person before five Nevada State Athletic Commissioners. Keith Kizer, the Commission executive director, told ESPN.com that the disgraced former welterweight ruler will have to be asked some tough questions on Friday.

"He's going to have to answer some tough questions here," Kizer said of Margarito's planned application in Nevada. "It's a heavy burden for him to satisfy, but it's his burden to meet. He'll have to explain anything the commissioners want to ask him about.."

Margarito, who maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing, split with trainer Javier Capetillo shortly after being suspended from boxing in the U.S, and he claims it was the trainer who put the illegal substances on his hand-wraps. This issue alone, with the fighter claiming he knew of no plan to deliberately enhance his punching power by ill means, is sure to be atop the list of questions to be asked by the commission.

Bottom line: does Margarito deserve to be re-licensed to fight anywhere inside the U.S, let alone Nevada (where of course the big-money fights take place - with Las Vegas being the home of the big casinos, etc)? Fans may well differ on the subject, but promoter Bob Arum has always stood by his fighter's side, and he told ESPN.com that Margarito should be licensed by Nevada on Friday.

Arum, who has big plans for a re-licensed Margarito - including possible mega-matches with Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto - says he is "optimistic" about his fighter's chances of being licensed.

"I'm optimistic the commission will do the right thing, but I haven't talked to anyone on the commission," Arum said. "I really believe he should get his licence in Nevada. He and his attorney will present the reasons and the Nevada commission will decide. We went to Nevada because that's where we are planning for him to fight. If it's not against [Manny] Pacquiao in November, it would be against [Miguel] Cotto in December."

Arum went on to say how, if Floyd Mayweather elects not to face Pac-Man, leaving Manny with Margarito as his Plan-B, it's vital Margarito has a licence to box in Nevada. So, if Arum and his fighter get what they want, "The Tijuana Tornado" will, without a doubt, earn millions and millions of dollars in the ring. Again: does Margarito deserve this opportunity?

As much as hardcore boxing fans would really want to see Margarito get it on with the likes of Pacquiao and, in a huge rematch, Cotto; many of these same fans will be angry if a man who was caught attempting to cheat gets such big paydays. What ammunition will this give to critics of our already struggling sport?

The five commissioners from Nevada who have been assigned this case have one helluva tough job on their hands!

Article posted on 08.07.2010



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