Antonio Margarito seeks boxing license in Nevada, aiming for Miguel Cotto rematch
Former world champion boxer Antonio Margarito will attempt to regain his fighter's license in the U.S. on Friday when he and attorneys appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Margarito was stripped of his license by the California State Athletic Commission after plaster-caked inserts in his handwraps were confiscated before a January 2009 fight against Shane Mosley at Staples Center.
Margarito's promoter, Bob Arum, said that if the boxer is successful in regaining a license, he will try to arrange a Margarito-Miguel Cotto rematch Dec. 4 in Las Vegas.
Cotto lost to Margarito -- his first loss -- in a brutal 2008 fight, later saying he strongly believed the fighter from Mexico had loaded gloves in the bout. Margarito has denied the allegation.
Cotto has previously said he was not interested in a rematch, because he didn't want to help Margarito earn any money, but Arum, in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, expressed confidence about making the fight. Cotto defeated Yuri Foreman last month to capture a world super-welterweight belt in Yankee Stadium.
"I've had the conversations with [Cotto's] advisers and, you know, it's a big enough fight, so I'm sure it will be accomplished," Arum said. "The last one did about 500,000 [pay-per-view] buys. This will be more. Everyone will make more, and these guys are business people.
"Why wouldn't Cotto want to fight Margarito and get revenge for that defeat?"
The more immediate question is whether Nevada will grant Margarito a license.
The California commission, which revoked Margarito's license in February 2009, would prefer if he asked it first for his license back. The state commission has sent Nevada a copy of the Superior Court decision affirming its revocation, along with an update on Margarito's appeal, which is not likely to be decided until the fall.
Arum says Margarito attorneys are poised to present a federal court opinion that allows a different state to reinstate a fighter whose license was revoked elsewhere. Without a U.S. license, Margarito fought in Mexico on May 8 and won.
In February, the Assn. of Boxing Commissions, which oversees the state commissions, issued a letter saying it believed Margarito's suspension should continue. ABC officials were not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
"I feel, given his record, and given the fact that we adhered to the revocation by not fighting for a full year, people [in Nevada] will say, 'Enough is enough,' " Arum said. "This isn't Iraq, where if you commit adultery, you get a public death by stoning."
Keith Kizer, executive officer of the Nevada commission, said Margarito will have "a very heavy burden to prove his fitness to earn a license this year," adding, "This isn't about the Mosley fight. The question here is, 'After a one year and a half, can he meet our burden for reinstatement?' "
Kizer said he's unsure how commissioners will view the boxer's resistance to seek reinstatement first by California.
"It might've been a positive for him, but it's not a legal requirement," Kizer said.
-- Lance Pugmire