NEW YORK STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION CLEARS MARGARITO TO FIGHT COTTO
Thu, 24 Nov 2011 08:25 AM EST
After days of uncertainty, the NY State Athletic Commission on Tuesday admitted Antonio Margarito a boxing license, making certain that he will be able to challenge junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto in a much-anticipated rematch December 3 at Madison Square Garden. Basketball scores
The commission had reservations about licensing Margarito because of a heavy eye injury he suffered in a lopsided decision defeat to Pacman Paquiao last November. Margarito suffered a brutalbroken orbital bone in his face and developed a cataract in his right eye.
Margarito and his team at first considered the injury to be career ending. However, he eventually had cataract surgery and a synthesised lens inserted in his eye by renowned expert Doctor. Alan Crandall — who had formerly performed cataract surgery on Arum and his spouse, Lovey — in Salt lake city this past spring. Football odds
But as a matter of policy, the Long Island boxing commision — head honcho Melvina Lathan, Edwin Torres and Thomas Santino — rejects candidates with the type of eye issues Margarito has, even though it is within its rights to give a license.
The commission disapproved Margarito a license in early November but accepted him a hearing to pleadhis case. It occurred last Wed. during which Crandall and Doctor. Rolando Toyo, who has worked as an eye doctor for multiple pro sports teams, gave evidence that Margarito was fit to battle. The boxing commissiondoctor and an affiliate of its medical advisory panel disagreed.
On Fri., instead of voting on the application, the commission ordered Margarito to leave his training camp in Mexico and fly to Long Island to be examined by a doctor of its selecting.
Margarito broke camp Sunday night and flew on a Top Rank-charted personal plane to Big Apple. He spent Monday seeing doctors.
To be fitted out with yet another opinion, Top Rank first brought Margarito to see Dr. Kenneth Rosenthal, who is the chief executive of the New York Intraocular Lens Implant Society. According to Top Rank’s Carl Moretti, who was with Margarito at the appointment, Rosenthal’s viewpoint was that Margarito was “fit to battle and it was like a farce if he wouldn’t be cleared to fight.”
Later Monday, Margarito was inspected by commission-selected ophthalmologist Dr. Michael Goldstein, whose statement supported those of Crandall, Toyo and Rosenthal.
Margarito returned to Mexico Monday night and the commission convened Tuesday afternoon more than an hour late, and then instantly went into executive session to deliberate. When the commissioners reappeared more than 90 minutes later on Torres, talking in place of Lathan, who said she had laryngitis, made the statement.
It included the undeniable fact that as an element of its call to license Margarito it had also considered the hand-wrapping scandal that saw him have his license revoked in California for trying to enter the ring with loaded wraps for a Jan 2009 fight with Shane Mosley and a subsequent 16-month suspension.
That was never anticipated to be a problem in Margarito’s licensing, but then Santino turned to the eye issue.
Moretti, who was at Tuesday’s meeting with Top Rank president Todd duBoef, and Margarito’s lawyers, David Moroso and Daniel Petrocelli, said they were all happy with the commission vote.
“The strain in the room, you could cut it with a knife,” he claimed. “I’m drained because all Todd and I wanted, and what everyone wanted, was for this fight to occur in new york because it’s important for the sport. You’ve a Madison Square Garden that’s nearly sold out — and I bet it will be sold out in the day after or two — with electricity running thru it. If we had to move the show, it wouldn’t have had the same impact. Just the proven fact that we were given the license and it came down to the Eleventh and half hour, it’s unreal.”
Said Diaz, “It’s been a genuine agony in the neck but it was something we had to go thru. We couldn’t run. Antonio has been fighting for this. There wasn’t anything any person were attempting to hide about his injury. We were open to any type of exam.”
Arum was happy the fable was over.
“I think you got to advocate the commission that they were considerate and deliberative and that having Margarito fly in to be examined by a doctor appointed by them, while an inconvenience, I believe was something that was good to do because you can have doctors opining about this and that, but if they don’t examine the patient you can’t get a full feel,” Arum asserted. “That being said, the feedback I have is why wasn’t this done before the press conference ( to announce the fight ) in Sep? Some way or other it would alleviated all the issues.
“If he had passed at that time none of this would have happened. If not, we’d have continued on to another state because we believed that having had him treated by Crandall, the leading ( eye ) doctor in the country, maybe the world, and having a retinal expert check him out, morally we were on the high ground. We believed his eye was as good as anyone’s based mostly on Crandall’s treatment.”
Had Margarito been declined a license, Top Rank was making plans to move the card, with the Pepsi Center in Denver the premiere candidate.
However, Cotto threw Arum for a loop earlier Tues. when he said on a tele-conference with boxing hacks that if Margarito didn’t receive a NY license, he would not fight. He said he had signed to fight in new york — where his Puerto Rican fan base has gobbled up almost all of the tickets — and wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Margarito ( 38-7, Twenty-seven KOs ) and Cotto ( 36-2, 29 KOs ) first met in 2008 in what turned out to be an incredible action fight. Margarito came on powerful in the later rounds and stopped Cotto in the Eleventh round of a bloody battle, taking his welterweight belt at the MGM Grand in Las vegas.
Because Margarito was caught attempting to fight Mosley with loaded hand wraps in his next fight, and had administered significant facial damage to Cotto in the later rounds, many suspected he had gotten away with wearing illegal hand wraps, making the Dec. 3 fight a much-anticipated grudge rematch.
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