Knockout Nation: Margarito Denied License, Donaire-Lopez Score TKOs, Muhammmad Ali Gets Golden Boy Banned! Pacquiao-Mayweather Deadline Near

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Antonio Margarito Denied License in Nevada

Antonio Margarito was informed on Friday (July 9) that Nevada would not grant him a license, advising the former welterweight champion to take his request before the California State Athletic Board that originally suspended him.

Margarito was suspended for indefinitely last year following his January TKO loss to Shane Mosley, when it was discovered that his gloves contained illegal wraps with “plaster-like” residue.

Margarito’s promotional company Top Rank attempt earlier this year to get reinstated in California were denied by the California State Athletic Commission, forcing the Tijuana Tornado to have his May comeback bout in Mexico. His team has an appeal pending in California’s appellate court over the CSAC’s decision.

According to the NY State Athletic Commission, Margarito’s penance should be completed through the board that suspended him.

“The reasoning was, as part of his act of contrition and rehabilitation or remorse, whatever term- they used all different terms- that should include going back to the state that had the most knowledge of what occurred on this night on January of 2009 and give them the opportunity to weigh-in,” explained NYSAC executive director Keith Kizer to “They [Margarito’s legal representatives] had pointed out, ‘Well, he’s appealed the decision;’ he got affirmed by a superior court judge in California and now they’ve appealed that to the appellate court. So that’s still pending. And that was the reason they gave; his attorney actually said, ‘We advised him not to go to California because we have a legal pending matter against the California Athletic Commission.’”

“But obviously, they can still apply; it doesn’t preclude them from applying with the California commission. I’ve been informed by Top Rank; they plan to file an application with the California commission on Monday or Tuesday.”

The reason for the urgency on Top Rank’s part is the need for a substitute opponent for Manny Pacquiao should the fight with Floyd Mayweather fall through. There is a supposed “gag order” on the negotiations, but Pacquiao’s side has stated the impasse at this point is Mayweather’s insistence on receiving the lion’s share of the purse. Having Margarito as a replacement would offer a promotional angle of Pacquiao facing a huge, aggressive welterweight with an imposing chin. This would be much more attractive than the alternative, which Top Rank CEO verified is a Pacquiao-Cotto rematch.

But if Margarito cannot get licensed anywhere in the United States, Arum had stated there is a possibility of staging the fight in Mexico.



Donaire Dominates, Lopez Survives Early Scare for TKO Win

Showtime headliners Nonito Donaire and Juan Manuel Lopez both scored impressive KOs tonight (July 10), but it was Lopez who fought through an early knockdown to secure his win.

Fighting in his native Puerto Rico, Lopez made an immediate impact by staggering Bernabe Concepcion in the 1st with with a counter straight lefts. Concepcion stumbled across the ring and crashed into ropes, and Lopez stalked after him with more hooks. Concepcion tried to create space with a wide left hook only to be dropped to his knees by a compact right hook.

Concepcion made it to his feet at 6, but was still clearly dazed from the previous assault. Lopez pounced and punished him with 2 left hooks, forcing the challenger to give ground. A straight left momentarily froze Concepcion, who then stumbled back into a corner and appeared to be several seconds away from a clear stoppage loss.

A wise clinch saved him, and the Manny Pacquiao apprentice began backpedaling behind a high guard while trying to pick off the firepower coming from Juan Manuel Lopez.

But another left, this time a looping hook, cracked Concepcion behind his guard. Again he was hurt, but Concepcion rolled with the punches against the ropes before timing a hard left hook the stunned and dropped Lopez.

Lopex rose immediately, but the round ended before the damage could truly be assessed.

In the corner, JuanMa’s trainer Alex Caraballo warned him to settle down and advised the knockdown was the result of overconfidence.

The 2nd round saw Lopez capitalize on Concepcion’s zealousness. The challenger rushed in seeking to land another right hook, only to get planted on the canvas by a sharp straight left 17 seconds in. This time Lopez was patient by working behind the jab and clipping his foe with right hands. Concepcion was hurt by a right hook counter as he attempted his own. Trying in vain to stagger away, Lopez chased and dropped him with a short straight left to earn the stoppage.

The shootout featured only 1 landed jab and 38 power punches.

The win ensures that Lopez will meet Rafael Marquez on September 18 for Lopez’s WBO featherweight title. The fight is the classic “young lion vs. old lion” scenario, and represent the biggest test of Lopez’s career.

“Rafael Marquez is a great fighter, I’m looking forward to the fight,” he said in the post-fight interview.

Regarding the knockdown, Lopez detailed that is was simple carelessness.

“Sometimes you get a little overconfident even though I had the fight under control. He’s a great fighter, a strong fighter with a punch,” he said of Concepcion. “I have to learn never to be overconfident even though I knocked him out in the second round.”

Juan Manuel Lopez improved to 29-0, 26 KOs. Bernabe Concepcion falls to 28-3-1, 15 KOs.


On the undercard, Nonito Donaire worked out some early kinks with his southpaw stance experiment to score an impressive KO over Hernan Marquez.

In the early rounds Donaire went after Marquez with straight lefts. But the southpaw stance created openings for the challenger, who landed several solid right hooks. Donaire noted that Marquez was leaning in with his shots, and began to start timing left uppercuts that later proved decisive.

Donaire switched back to orthodox in round 5, and timed a beautiful left hook that dropped Marquez. The challenger was badly hurt and only survived by literally tackling the champion to the end the round.

Marquez had no answers for the quick counters Donaire was now landing from his natural orthodox stance. In the 8th, Donaire countered with a lethal left uppercut counter under a wild Marquez hook for a knockdown. The challenger was glassy-eyed as he beat the count, causing his corner to throw in the towel for the TKO stoppage.

In the post-fight interview, Donaire placed blame on Vic Darchinyan for their expected rematch not happening.

“It’s out of my hands, I’ve given him the opportunity for a rematch,” said Donaire, who improved to 24-1, 16 KOs. “I came in to sign the contract and they didn’t want to make it happen. As of now we have Fernando Montiel and other guys we can work on.”

The TKO loss brings Hernan Marquez’s record to 27-2, 20 KOs.


Golden Boy Promotions Suspended in NY

The NYSAC was very busy this week, handing down a suspension to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions for violation of the Muhammad Ali Act.

The federal law carrying Ali’s name requires the disclosure of all fee disbursements and earnings pertaining to every party on the fight card (sanctioning bodies, fighters, promoters, etc.).

Golden Boy’s violation came on the Amir Khan-Paulie Malignaggi card held in Madison Square Garden on May 15. The card was aired on HBO and featured an opening bout with Victor Ortiz vs. Nate Campbell. Although the network underwrote a purse for $750,000, the fighters only received a total of $225,000 (Ortiz-$100,000, Campbell- $125,000), leaving over $500,000 unaccounted for. Whether the money was simply skimmed by Golden Boy or given to another party (possibly the main event pot) is still undetermined.

The suspension will run for 90 days.



Mayweather-Pacquiao Decision Coming By Next Friday (July 16)?

Camps for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have been quiet over the last week regarding their negotiations. That is, everyone except Top Rank CEO and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum.

Although Arum has previously stated his was bound legally to keep quiet, he recently disclosed that his team has a deadline on July 16 for both sides to come to an agreement. If not, he will move forward with trying to match the Filipino icon again with Miguel Cotto at 154, or Antonio Margarito in Mexico.

“They have until Friday (July 16) to sign,” Arum told Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper yesterday (July 10). “If they say no we’ll go with Pacquiao-Cotto rematch at 154 but we have to wait.”

On Friday (July 9), Arum appeared to be leaning more towards the Cotto rematch.

“If Mayweather passes and we have no Mayweather fight for November 13, than [Pacquiao’s] going to probably fight Margarito November 13,” he explained to “And we’ll try again with the Nevada commission for a conditional license and if we fail in that, we’ll go fight in Mexico.”


Whether the next Friday deadline is legit or not, it’s sheer lunacy if Mayweather-Pacquiao does not get finalized. A Cotto rematch is unnecessary and very bad for the longevity of Miguel’s career. And until Margarito takes responsibility for his role in the hand wrap issue he shouldn’t be fighting anywhere. The failed negotiations earlier this year were a sad display of everything that is wrong with boxing politics. Another breakdown goes further and damages the legacies of both men, as it would be twice that Mayweather and Pacquiao failed to meet the biggest challenge of their careers.

If July 16 is indeed the deadline, there is more at stake than mere dollar signs.


Shot of the Week

This wasn’t the knockout punch, but it set the tone for what was to follow. Before the fight Henry Lundy called John Molina a “stupid fighter,” but the only one who looked foolish here was Lundy. Check out Lundy trying to tell the referee that he “slipped.” This was the main event for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, and the full recap along with ShoBox’s Friday card can be read here. And check out the woman in the pink sweater’s face in the bottom right hand corner (starting at the 2:05 mark). Priceless LOL


News and Notes

–          Ronnie Shields Dismissed at Tomasz Adamek’s Trainer

–          HBO Drops Heavyweight Boxing

–          Zab Judah Returns July 16 on ESPN Friday Night Fights against Jose Armando

–          RIP to Scottish amateur boxer Gordon Izzat, who was found dead in his Edinburgh apartment from an apartment suicide. Izzat fought over 60 amateur bouts and was a close friend to middleweight Craig McEwan.

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