An announcement is expected on Monday in the case of Antonio Margarito's New York license application, but with his rematch against Miguel Cotto only 12 days away at that point, Top Rank has been busy lining up potential alternative venues if the fight has to move. Dan Rafael says these locations are in the running:
- Denver, Colorado: The Pepsi Center, which is open that night with the Denver Nuggets not playing and the Colorado Avalanche off for the evening between home games on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4, would be the most likely choice in the city. Top Rank likes Denver as a potential new hot bed for boxing, after local fighter Mike Alvarado has done some impressive business there.
- Phoenix, Arizona: This would be a really, really interesting choice, I think. Arizona is another place where local fighters can draw. There is a large Latino population, and you may recall the episode of Friday Night Fights this summer main evented by Jesus Gonzales, who brought in a very nice crowd at the US Airways Center. With the Suns locked out, it's open on Dec. 3.
- Mississippi: Two venues in the state are being considered. One is known to be the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, which is about 20 minutes south of Memphis, barely over the Tennessee-Mississippi state line. The other could be in Tunica or Biloxi.
Cowboys Stadium: While it might seem like opening up the stadium for a short-notice fight card wouldn't be the best idea, Arum has connections here and Jerry Jones might be sympathetic to his troubles enough to cut him something of a deal. Plus, it's Cowboys Stadium. It would be cavernous and empty and the crowd would sound non-existent on TV, but at this point crap like that isn't a worry. It's just getting this fight a home, and it sounds impressive to say, "Screw you, we don't need New York, we'll just go to Cowboys Stadium." As mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are on the road that Sunday in Arizona.
- El Paso, Texas: The Don Haskins Center, home of the UTEP Miners and an upcoming February laugh riot featuring the HILAAAAAARIOUS Gabriel Iglesias, is open on the date. El Paso is barely over the Mexico-Texas border, and could be a good bet for a late draw of fight fans, who may relish the opportunity to get a fight of this quality in their city.
- Fort Worth, Texas: The Convention Center in the city would be the venue for the fight. The upside here would be that, like Arlington's Cowboys Stadium, it's close to Dallas, and I'm guessing the cost is less and the building is more likely to become close to full, or at least respectable. Between this and Cowboys Stadium, if it were me, I think I'd go to Fort Worth this time.