Hearing required to clear Antonio Margarito to fight
The New York State Athletic Commission will conduct a Nov. 18 hearing before granting a license to Tijuana's Antonio Margarito for his scheduled Dec. 3 rematch against Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden.
Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) hasn't fought since losing a unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, where he sustained right eye damage that earlier this year was considered career-threatening. A Pacquiao left uppercut shattered an orbital bone.
In May, Margarito underwent cataract surgery at a prestigous eye care center in Utah, and was later deemed capable of fighting again.
Increased scrutiny by regulators was expected.
Margarito promoter Bob Arum said Thursday that Margarito will be accompanied at the New York hearing by the ophthamologist who performed his surgery, along with another eye expert and an individual Arum described as the leading sports opthamologist in the world.
"We're confident he'll be OK," Arum said. "Otherwise, we wouldn't be spending the money to show he's fine."
There was speculation that Arum was positioned to use Glendale's Vanes Martirosyan as a fill-in fighter if Margarito isn't licensed.
"We don't need a backup," Arum said.
Photo: Antonio Margarito talks about his Dec. 3 bout against Miguel Cotto at a news conference in Los Angeles in September. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press