After an incredibly lengthy deliberation and a drawn-out speech to get to it that included English, French and Latin all spoken, the New York State Athletic Commission granted Antonio Margarito a boxing license today at about 5:52 p.m. EST, meaning that the December 3 HBO pay-per-view rematch with Miguel Cotto is on as scheduled at Madison Square Garden.
Margarito (38-7, 27 KO) has not fought since losing a brutal twelve-round decision to Manny Pacquiao in November 2010. That fight took place in Texas, but most important, it left the Mexican's right eye severely damaged. After surgery for a broken orbital bone and a cataract in the eye, the 33-year-old Margarito signed to rematch Cotto (36-2, 29 KO) in New York just a few months back.
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In the last week, the New York State Athletic Commission and Top Rank, the promoters of the fight, hit a brick wall regarding Margarito's licensing. While applying this late in the game is not unusual, Margarito was himself an unusual case. Without an active license in New York, and coming off of an eye surgery, the famously cautious NYSAC held a hearing on November 18 to address their concerns. At the end of it, Margarito was ordered to see a doctor of their choosing.
He did that yesterday afternoon, flying in from the mountains of Mexico where he's been training to receive the examination.
Early this afternoon, Miguel Cotto finally spoke up and said he would not fight anywhere outside of New York during a conference call with media. Hours later, the commission again came together to deliberate and make their final decision With the license granted, the nearly 15,000 tickets sold and the $2.5 million-plus live gate revenue will still be valid, and everyone makes money. So much for Denver.
It also secures the position of everyone fighting on the undercard, including a loaded pay-per-view broadcast featuring Brandon Rios vs John Murray, Mike Jones vs Sebastian Lujan, and a highly anticipated rematch between Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez.
All that remains now is for Cotto and Margarito to finish up their camps in Orlando and Mexico, respectively, and get ready for their December 3 showdown. If the fight has the drama that this week has had, it should be another classic.