The California Athletic Commission earlier today turned down Antonio Margarito’s application for a license to fight in the United States, which he lost after being found with loaded hand wraps prior to his fight against Shane Mosley.
The main issue that the commission seemingly had with re-licensing the Tijuana Tornado was that he has still never admitted to any wrong doing and has continuously blamed the entire incident on his ex-trainer Javier Capetillo, claiming that he didn’t know his wraps were loaded. Although his lawyers made a case for the wraps possibly having been put in without his knowledge, there is still a long way between possible and at all likely.
Karen Chappelle, the state attorney general asked:
“Has he shown remorse?” “Have you ever issued a public apology to boxing?” “Has he admitted to any wrongdoing?” “What has he done?”
Had he admitted guilt over the issue his license appeal probably wouldn’t have even been an issue and he might have succeeded with the Nevada commission, who tabled a decision on granting him a license.
In his own defense, Margarito later said:
“I did not know. I’m not arguing with you. I’m being completely honest with all of you. That’s why I broke my relationship with Capetillo. It was hard to do, but that’s what had to be done.”
Breaking off his relationship with the trainer he accused though is hardly proof of innocence. If indeed he blamed his trainer and either knew about the wraps himself or was instrumental in their use, then cutting him loose afterward is hardly surprising.
Despite today’s setback though, Margarito is now set to go before the Texas commission, who many are already predicting will reinstate his license despite the ruling of California. Unlike California, the Texas commission will be under pressure from several groups to approve Margarito’s appeal because of the revenue his next fight against Manny Pacquiao, currently scheduled to take place at the Cowboys stadium, would bring into the state.
Is Margarito vs. Pacquiao now in jeopardy?
If the Texas commission doesn’t approve Margarito, that still doesn’t necessarily mean that his November fight against Manny Pacquiao will be called off altogether. Although it might mean a few days of frantic rearranging from Bob Arum, the fight will probably just take place in Mexico instead. Several other states have expressed interest in the fight and have said that they will readily license Margarito, but at the same time not too many realistically have either the facilities or big enough markets to host the fight.
Probably the only way the fight will be called off altogether would be if all the concerned parties aren’t going to make very much money from it. If the Unites States is out and there is are any unforeseen problems with Mexico, then hosting the fight elsewhere could mean the pay per view numbers would suffer. Already there is a lot of ill feeling towards the fight amongst some fans, and it isn’t clear what pay per view numbers Arum and co are hoping to get all things being well and with the fight taking place in Texas.
If Roger Mayweather’s latest comments are accurate, then his nephew Floyd Mayweather might be back in action before the end of the year. He also mentioned in the same interview that they fight that they wanted and that made the most sense was Pacquiao. Obviously Top Rank dropping Margarito in favor of Mayweather as an opponent now is a long shot to say the least, not to mention the fact that the latter is without an official promoter at the moment and that there are still issues between the two camps.
But does Margarito deserve to get his license back?
In a word, yes. Although a single year of suspension probably isn’t an adequate punishment for what he did in the eyes of most, this was more a failure of the commission and it’s rules than Margarito, who to his credit sat out for the full suspension term. If he deserved more than a year he should have been suspended for more than a year and if the commission rules don’t allow this then the flaw is with the system rather than the fighter in question.
Danny Carson, Philly: “No one wanted this fight anyway, maybe Pac will fight someone decent if Cheato can’t get his license back”
Ed Roland, Pittsburgh: “I thought Arum said an inside source said he would get the license in California? More nonsense from Arum and once again it backfires”
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