August 19th, 2010


Antonio Margarito denied boxing license

The California State Athletic Commission on Wednesday denied former welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito a boxing license on a 5-1 vote after a nearly six-hour hearing in Los Angeles.

Margarito was seeking a license from the commission that revoked his license in February 2009 following his knockout loss to Shane Mosley the previous month.

The denial throws into question Margarito's proposed fall fight against Manny Pacquiao, which would be for a vacant junior middleweight belt.

In the dressing room before Margarito faced Mosley at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, illegal inserts were discovered in each of his hand wraps after Mosley's trainer, Naazim Richardson, objected to the way his hands had been wrapped. The wraps were cut off and the illegal pads, which were coated in a plaster-like substance, were discovered. Margarito's hands were re-wrapped. The fight went off with Mosley knocking Margarito out in the ninth round to win the title.

Margarito is expected to ask Texas for a license in the hopes of being granted one in order to fight Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in an HBO PPV fight on Nov. 13. HBO had a camera at the hearing to record it for potential use in the "24/7" reality series it is planning for the build-up to the fight.

Asked for a reaction to California's ruling at practice on Wednesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, "I'm aware of it but have no comment."

Although states typically uphold rulings in other states on licensing issues, that is not always the case. Mike Tyson, for example, was denied a license in Nevada in 2002 before he fought Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight title. After the denial, Tyson was licensed in Tennessee and the fight took place.

Bob Arum's Top Rank, which promotes Margarito and Pacquiao, anticipated a denial in California, issuing a statement immediately after the hearing ended.

"Top Rank has complied with the wishes of the ABC and other states. Top Rank will soon make an announcement about Antonio Margarito," Top Rank's statement read.

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The Big 12 NEEDS TCU +

Fresno State and Nevada announced late Wednesday they will move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference in 2011 or 2012. The news capped a day of wild speculation that began when the Salt Lake Tribune reported that BYU was leaving the MWC after this season, and would play as an independent while the school's other athletic programs would join the WAC.

BYU's possible departure, so closely on the heels of Utah's, leaves the conference barely treading water. And DOA with regard to BCS automatic qualifier status.

The Little 10 is on shaky ground. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has gone on record with his doubts about the long-term viability of a conference that refuses to share. And A&M already has demanded payment of its $20 million.

It was not too long ago, when A&M looked SEC bound and Texas looked Pac-10 bound and Oklahoma looked to be going wherever Texas went, that the MWC looked to be sitting pretty, and it still might be again.  If Big 12 Commish Dan Beebe were smart, he'd already be working on replacements.

What we also learned this summer though, is  that Beebe is NOT a BIG thinker. But maybe Beebe has done his due diligence on expansion, in case the Big Not 10 and Pac However Many come raiding again.  TCU has to be Included in that reconnaissance. 

"In this day and age, with conference expansion, teams leaving, everything is on the table," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said. "Everything is in play. Every rumor is in play."

The Big 12 is not going to cut it as the Little 10. The Pac 10/Big 12 merger should have been and still could be.  Let the Aggies go to the SEC and see how it feels to be Vanderbilt. Don't let the door hit you in the ass and let the Aggie jokes begin.

The Little 10 is in denial. They need TCU plus a few.  Since Beebe blew the PAC 10/Big 12 merger, the future of the Big 12 minus 2 is TCU plus the best of the west.  Today's Big 12, WAC and Mountain West can't survive with or without BYU.  Either the WAC or the Mountain West will go for the Little 10 to be BIG again.