Yesterday, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported that a deal had been reached to host the November 13 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Today, more on the situation has come out, and everything sounds like it's set in stone.
Lem Satterfield of FanHouse reports today that Margarito has been "assured" a license in Texas. He'll be going before the California State Athletic Commission on August 18 to appeal his suspension, which was handed down in February 2009 after a hand-wrapping controversy prior to his January 2009 fight with Shane Mosley, which Margarito lost.
"A deal has been made, it's going to go to Dallas," said the source, "and [Margarito] has been assured a license in Dallas."
If Margarito's suspension is lifted by California, which seems likely now, there'll be absolutely no problem licensing him in Texas. I'd guess this is probably less that they have some backdoor deal with the Texas officials than it is a source who already knows that California plans to give Margarito his license back. And despite any protests about that, the fact is that they may not have enough solid evidence to keep the ban on Margarito active.
Everyone seems pretty excited about hosting the fight in Texas, and it makes sense. Pacquiao drew in a little over 50,000 fans for a fight in March against Joshua Clottey, who Arum says has "no following in north Texas," which is his nice way of saying Clottey has no following anywhere in America. Margarito, on the other hand, is not just a Mexican fighter, but even with his troubles is still one of the top active Mexican names in boxing. Margarito's involvement alone could up the attendance another 10-20,000 if tickets are affordable, and they kind of have to be in a venue that big. There is a very realistic chance that Pacquiao-Margarito could put 70,000 fans in the seats at Cowboys Stadium.
I also wanted to include a poll here, because I'm curious as to the results. So vote!