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Boxing issues will put a lot on plate for California's new athletic commissioner

April 1, 2009 |  2:57 pm

The California State Athletic Commission is expected to name a new executive officer at its April 14 meeting in Los Angeles, and the leader will immediately have some major issues to deal with.

The Times has learned from a source connected to the executive officer search who is not authorized to speak publicly that the field of candidates includes former New York athletic commissioner Ron Scott Stevens, current assistant executive officer William Douglas, boxing referee Pat Russell and retired attorney Ron Arnold. 

Last week, following a series of reports by Bay Area television station KGO that private Bay Area clubs, the Olympic Club and City Club, were hosting amateur fights where gambling and alcohol consumption occurred while fighters as young as ae 8 boxed, the CSAC announced it was temporarily suspending USA Boxing's authority to regulate boxing in the state. The commission will take arguments at its April 13-14 meetings to determine whether to permanently revoke USA Boxing's regulation abilities.

The CSAC decision has shaken up amateur boxing in the state and elicited criticism that the commission is merely attempting to profit from amateur fights by charging amateur boxing groups a $250 registration fee and $1,000 bond to allow fighting.

The commission has yet to install a plan to deal with the problem of amateur mixed martial arts "smokers," an issue The Times addressed last year.

Sources close to the commission say there's also some tricky personnel entanglements connected to last year's resignation of executive officer Armando Garcia, and the commission next year will have to determine how to handle the fighting future of boxer Antonio Margarito, who had his license revoked for having the elements of plaster adhered to at least one of the gauze pads he intended to wear atop his knuckles in a January loss to Shane Mosley.

— Lance Pugmire