Now that a deal is in place for Antonio Margarito to face Manny Pacquiao on November 13, promoter Bob Arum is pushing for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to reconsider Margarito’s suspension at their August 9 meeting.
Margarito went before the commission on July 9 to be relicensed. Las Vegas declined his request by a 4-1 vote, advising that he should seek reinstatement in California where he was originally suspended last year for attempting to use plaster-like illegal hand wraps against Shane Mosley.
Margarito’s legal team currently has a lawsuit pending against the California State Athletic Commission regarding his suspension.
Arum represents both Pacquiao and Margarito, and believes the latter has paid a sufficient price for his hand wrap transgression. The Top Rank CEO also feels that Vegas doesn’t have to completely overturn California’s ruling; a one-fight conditional license would be acceptable.
“We’ve asked for a hearing with Nevada, because when we went to California like (Nevada) asked us to, California said they’d give (Margarito) a hearing, but only if he drops his lawsuit, Arum told the Las Vegas Review Journal earlier today. “Even if (Nevada) wants to give him a one-fight conditional license, fine. But there’s no reason why they shouldn’t go forward with this. (Margarito) has served his suspension. He’s not fighting in California. He’s fighting in Nevada. It makes absolutely no sense to go to California, especially when they’re telling him he’ll get a hearing, but only if he drops his lawsuit. Why should he have to give up his rights?”
The Las Vegas commission may look favorably on Margarito’s application if he can prove that California is unwilling to meet with him due to his lawsuit. At press time, Margarito’s lawyer is drafting a letter explaining that situation in full for the Las Vegas board.
Keith Kizer, executive director for the Vegas Athletic Commission, was non-committal regarding if this development could sway the panel to rule in Margarito’s favor.
“Would they respond differently? I can’t answer that,” he said. “But if what his attorney says is true, that they tried to appear before the commission there and couldn’t or that they want him to drop his lawsuit before they acted on a license, that might put things in a different light. But that would be up to our commission to decide.”