Margarito: No Stairway to Redemption Likely

By "Old Yank" Schneider - If hell has stairways and escalators, then fittingly they operate in only one direction.

The loathsome crime of glove-loading brings out strong emotions -- I cannot hide mine.

Margarito's appearance on the Pacquiao undercard is more than in doubt. Recent developments regarding Margarito's suitability for licensing have been hitting the boxing community like a tidal wave. All of this is an outgrowth due to a foreign substance found in Margarito's gloves before the fight against Shane Mosley a little over a year ago. The foreign plaster-like substance found in Margarito's hand wraps resulted in the California State Athletic Commission revoking Margarito's boxing license for a one-year period (the harshest penalty at the disposal of the commission at the time).. And unlike license suspensions, a revocation requires a re-application process that is not automatic. Now, with Margarito eligible to re-apply for a license many questions have been raised. The question of him fighting on the Pacquiao/Clotey undercard seems to have been answered.

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) has weighed in; they are claiming that Margarito should NOT be licensed by any other state until and unless he's capable of successfully re-applying for a license in California. They have communicated their position to the Texas State Athletic Commission.

The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) issued a statement that in their opinion Margarito's revocation period of one-year is over and Texas is free to decide the matter on their own. However, here is the bombshell: They also issued a statement to the Texas Athletic Commission expressing a stunning opinion. In the opinion of the ABC, the seriousness of Margarito's revocation in California makes him UNFIT to be licensed in Texas or any other state at this time!

Texas will be delaying any decision on the licensing of Margarito to a date that makes it virtually impossible for Arum to plan on Margarito being available to fight on the Pacquiao undercard. Margarito has been removed from the Pacquiao/Clottey undercard and a May date for Margarito is being scheduled for him to fight in Mexico.

Sources have reported that several independent campaigns have weighed in; sending emails and letters to the athletic commissions of both California and Texas. The apparent overwhelming side taken in these emails has been an effort to keep Margarito out of the boxing ring.

The Texas State Athletic Commission appears to be in a position where only one win is open to them; denial of Margarito's license. Should they license Margarito after receiving the opinion of the ABC that he is unfit for a license based on the seriousness of his violation, it would be a slap in the face of the only national body involved in the matter. Should they license Margarito and he kill a man via glove-loading, commission members would carry this on their conscience to the grave. Texas has a win here. All they need do is issue a statement that based on the opinion of the ABC and based on a courtesy response to the CSAC claim that successful re-application should happen in California, they will defer to the recommendations of the ABC and extend professional courtesy to the CSAC. They can further lay claim to the high ground by referencing language regarding their responsibility to protect the health and safety of combatants in the Great State of Texas.

The attempted glove loading was caught by Mosley corner-man Nazim Richardson. When asked to comment on the matter he said, "If they let [Margarito] back now, trying to slip those things into the ring was worth the gamble". He went on to say, "[Margarito] hurt all of us in the boxing fraternity with that nonsense, like when Tyson bit off Holyfield's ear".

Opinions can be very heated on both sides of this issue. At this juncture it appears that Margarito will not be entering a ring in the USA any time soon. The up-escalator from hell is perhaps permanently out of order. For the majority of fans, this is justice.

Article posted on 14.02.2010

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