Today's lengthy hearing in front of the New York State Athletic Commission ended with no resolution on either side in the case of Antonio Margarito's license application, and it remains unknown whether or not Margarito will fight Miguel Cotto on December 3 at Madison Square Garden.
With a lawyer representing Margarito at the hearing, the Top Rank side attempted to work around the request for a NYSAC doctor to examine the fighter, suggesting a caucus of Margarito's doctors and the New York doctors via phone. But chairperson Melvina Lathan held firm, denying the request, and insisting that Margarito be examined by a New York-appointed doctor.
The only win Margarito got in the latter portion of today's hearing is that he won't be forced to fly from "the mountains of Mexico City," where he is training for the fight, all the way to New York. New York and Margarito's lawyer agreed that the two parties could meet somewhere in the middle, lessening the travel burden on Margarito at a crucial point of his training.
Lathan was particularly clear about one thing that has irked many: She stated that the commission had pressured Margarito and Top Rank to start this process in September. This was the first clear statement of that fact from the commission, and sort of changes the perception some -- myself included -- had about how much blame should be placed on the commission.
"We wouldn't be where we are today if we'd had papers that we asked to be submitted way before we got them," said Lathan, adding that she "asked (to) get this process started back in September."
"I'm just as pissed off as anybody else, to be honest with you," she continued.
It was hard to watch the meeting and conclude anything other than New York's commission successfully stood their ground, and backed down Margarito's lawyer, and with him, Top Rank's possible attempt to leverage financial considerations (a big gate at the Garden) into a formality licensing.
It's also hard to not continue to wonder if Margarito and Top Rank will actually go through with an additional examination, as the clock is ticking on actually getting this fight to happen, either at Madison Square Garden or in one of the other considered locales, be it Texas, Mississippi, or Colorado.
If they feel there is a legitimate chance that the license won't go through after an examination, they would probably be wise to just go elsewhere while they have the chance to sell a few tickets on short notice.