Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum told RingTV.com on Friday that The New York State Athletic Commission has ruled that Antonio Margarito must be examined by a commission-appointed physician in order to be granted a license to face Miguel Cottoto in a rematch that is scheduled to be televised on HBO Pay Per View from New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3.
The NYSAC originally denied Margarito (38-7, 27 knockouts) a license on Oct. 31 due to complications from a serious eye injury that occurred during a November unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao, against whom Margarito suffered a fractured right orbital bone that required surgery to repair.
But a NYSAC three-member panel, including commission chairwoman Melvina Lathan, voted on Friday that Margarito could still challenge WBA junior middleweight beltholder Cotto (36-2, 29 KOs) if examined and approved by a commission-assigned doctor.
“We’re back in, and we’ve said that we would agree, and our two opthalmologists have consented, to allow the commission to have a neutral doctor examine Antonio Margarito,” said Arum. “We will fly Margarito in immediately for an examination. Immediately means immediately.”
Arum said that he would try to get Margarito checked out by the NYSAC’s physician in New York as early as this weekend.
“We’ve got to rent the airplane, and fly him in from Mexico City, so we’re talking Saturday, Sunday or Monday,” said Arum. “This is better than a denial, because it means that they’re looking for a way to get this thing on.”
Arum had considered the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium to be a leading candidate if Cotto-Margarito II had to be moved, this, while Arum is in Texas promoting Saturday night’s HBO-televised clash between RING No. 5-rated middleweight and WBC titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KOs) and Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6, 20 KOs) at Houston’s Reliant Arena.
Arum had also examined at least two other venues in the state, including the Alamo Dome, which is not available, and another in El Paso, according to a source.
Arum told RingTV.com on Thursday that sites in Colorado and Mississippi were also considerations, but his familiarity with the Cowboys’ Stadium and his relationship with owner, Jerry Jones, apparently played a major role.
Dallas would appear to be the easiest and most likely transition, considering Arum took Pacquiao there for consecutive unanimous decisions over Joshua Clottey and Margarito in March and November at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium.
The win over Clottey (35-4, 20 KOs) marked the debut of boxing at the stadium, which attracted some 55,000 fans. In addition, the Cowboys have a road game at Arizona on Dec. 4, meaning that the stadium is available.
“We’ll have a decision later today,” Arum, who turns 80 on Dec. 8, told ESPN.com. “[Cowboys Stadium] is our premium choice to have an event that night. We have a great relationship with the Cowboys. It’s a hot, hot fight.”