August 26, 2010
A 5 1/2-hour hearing! What was the point California? In Texas, all it took was $20 and a clean bill of health from a doctor for Antonio Margarito to get his license back in the U.S. and his big payday.
Denied reinstatement last week by the California State Athletic Commission, Margarito got the go-ahead in Texas, paving the way for his Nov. 13 fight against Manny Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
"I want to thank the state of Texas for granting me a boxing license which enables me to continue my passion for the sport of boxing in the United States," Margarito said in a statement released after the decision. "I have dedicated my life to giving the fans of the sport entertainment and excitement. On November 13, this great opportunity will ultimately be fulfilled when I battle Manny Pacquiao."
The promoter for the upcoming fight and both fighters, Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions, is thrilled. From AOL Fanhouse:
"This is absolutely great. For my point of view, it's been a situation where I just thought that Antonio Margarito was really treated unfairly and that Antonio Margarito had no knowledge of this, and that they were piling on to him, particularly after his license was revoked," said [...] Arum.
"And then, to deny him a license again, I thought that that was just horrible. A boxer has a certain number of years during which he can perform, and they really took it all away from him," said Arum. "I just really feel good for him."
Margarito was raked over the coals during the five-plus hour hearing in
California. Texas didn't seem to have the same concerns as the Golden State did.
"After a thorough review of his application it was determined Mr. Margarito met the requirements of the Texas Combative Sports Act and Rules," William Kuntz, the executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, said in a statement.
Margarito has been without a U.S. license for 17 months. After a lengthy investigation into an illegal hard material that was discovered in Margarito's wraps on both hands before he entered the ring against Shane Mosley on Jan. 24, 2009, California revoked Margarito's license on Feb. 11, 2009. Margarito was suspended for a year. Back in June, he also tried for a license in Nevada, where the state athletic commission elected to table his request.