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Margarito licensing debate rages

The Association of Boxing Commissions today sent a letter to Dick Cole, head of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, informing Cole that the ABC is not in favor of suspended former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito being relicensed at this time “due to the seriousness of the violations surrounding the revocation of Mr. Margarito’s license by the CSAC [California State Athletic Commission],” although acknowledging that the Texas Combative Sports Program “would not be in violation of federal law should Margarito be relicensed after expiration of his current license issued by the CSAC.” To see the contents of the letter in full,

January 29, 2010

Dick Cole
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Combative Sports Program
Post Office 12157
Austin, TX 78711

Dear Mr. Cole:

It has come to the attention of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) that Antonio Margarito is attempting, or will attempt, to become licensed in the state of Texas to participate in a WBC light middle weight title fight against Carson Jones at the Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 13, 2010 (subject to the approval of the Executive Director of the Combative Sports Program, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation).

The ABC Legal Committee previously determined that the reciprocal enforcement of the revocation of Margarito’s license was mandatory; as it was for an offense constituting “unsportsmanlike conduct or other inappropriate behavior inconsistent with generally accepted methods of competition in a professional boxing match.” 15 USC §6306(a)(2)(E).

The boxer’s license issued to Margarito by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) on or about January 24, 2009, which was later revoked, expires, by its terms, one year following its date of issuance. Arguably, reciprocal enforcement of the revocation (or suspension) of a boxer’s license is not mandatory beyond the term of the license itself. Compare, Mesi v. Nevada State Athletic Commission. Therefore the Texas Combative Sports Program would not be in violation of the federal law should your office license Mr. Margarito after expiration of his current license issued by the CSAC.

The ABC Board of Directors encourages the Texas Combative Sports Program, if applicable to hold a public hearing regarding Mr. Margarito’s application for licensure.

The Texas Combative Sports Program should seek testimony from all interested parties prior to a decision to issue such a license to Mr. Margarito.

The ABC Board of Directors also opined that Mr. Margarito should not be licensed at this time due to the seriousness of the violations surrounding the revocation of Mr. Margarito’s license by the CSAC.

Sincerely,

Tim Lueckenhoff, President
Jim Erickson, 1st Vice President
Greg Sirb, 2nd Vice President
E. “Buddy” Embanato, Treasurer
Joe Miller, Secretary




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