Antonio Margarito applies to California for reinstated boxing license
Disciplined boxer Antonio Margarito on Wednesday filed an application to have his license to fight reinstated by the California State Athletic Commission, more than 17 months since it was revoked when officials confiscated "loaded" hand wraps from the Tijuana fighter before his failed world welterweight title defense at Staples Center in January 2009.
Margarito's promoter, Bob Arum, told The Times, "We've asked for this to be heard on an expedited basis," before the commission's next scheduled meeting Sept. 20 in Los Angeles.
Margarito has agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao Nov. 13 at a site yet to be determined. Arum doesn't want Margarito to fight Pacquiaio in California, but when the promoter sought to have Margarito re-licensed in Nevada earlier this month, commissioners there ruled to table their decision until Margarito first attempted to have his appeal heard where the license was originally stripped.
A Pacquiao-Margarito bout would challenge the May Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley bout to emerge as the most lucrative fight of the year, and Arum said he feels obligated to give his home state Nevada a shot at landing the bout.
However, the promoter said Wednesday that "a half dozen states have said they will grant us a license without a decision by California," not including Nevada. The favorites among other U.S. destinations are believed to be Texas, where Pacquiao drew a crowd of 51,000 for a March bout against lesser-known Joshua Clottey, and Atlantic City, N.J., which would cater to the big gamblers who've descended upon Las Vegas in Pacquiao's prior fights there.
Margarito, who returned to fighting in May in a bout in Mexico, has since fired his suspended trainer, Javier Capetillo, who claimed at the February 2009 California commission meeting that plaster-coated pads ended up inside Margarito's hand wraps accidentally, and that the former two-time world welterweight champion had no knowledge of wrongdoing.
Photo: Antonio Margarito celebrates his first-round knockout of Manuel Gomez in 2006. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press