Crandall advised Margarito not to box again until December, but testified during an NYSAC hearing last Wednesday that Margarito’s eye was secure enough for him to return to boxing.
“There were medical records taken from some of the greatest medical doctors in the world who examined Tony. But in any event, we should not have had to go through this ordeal,” said Petrocelli.
“But we were forced to endure, and Tony interrupted his training to fly to New York from Mexico. That was a big setback for him, but at least he can now can move forward to the fight.”
Arum said that all but 1,485 tickets had been sold for Cotto-Margarito II, whose undercard boasts RING No. 1-rated lightweight and WBA titleholder Brandon Rios (28-0-1, 21 KOs) as well as two popular East Coast-area fighters in unbeaten RING No. 8-rated Philadelphia welterweight Mike Jones (25-0, 19 KOs) and RING No. 10-rated New Jersey junior middleweight Pawel Wolak (19-1-1, 19 KOs).
Also to appear is Notre Dame graduate and Chicago-based ligthheavyweight prospect Mike Lee (7-0, 4 KOs) against an opponent to be determined.
Rios is in pursuit of his 11th win in a row against THE RING’s No. 8-rated Johnny Murray (31-1, 18 KOs). Jones will be in against Argentina’s Sebastian Lujan (38-5-2, 24 KOs) for the No. 1 spot in the IBF’s ratings, with the winner being in line to meet IBF No. 2-rated Randall Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs) for the organization’s belt that was recently vacated by Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs).
Another rematch on the Cotto-Margarito II Wolak taking his unbeaten streak of 8-0-1, including five knockouts against Dominican-born Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-3, 14 KOs).
Wolak and Rodriguez battled to a majority draw in an exciting Fight of the Year candidate bout in July during which Wolak fought the entire second half of the fight while peering through severely cut and swollen eyes, the right side of his face marred by a softball-sized hematoma.
Cotto is immensly popular at Madison Square Garden, where he is 6-0 as part of his overall 8-0 record with four knockouts in New York.
“We feel great for the two fighters. We feel great for the other boxers on the card. We feel great for Madison Square Garden. We look at this as an important event for boxing and for New York. This is an opportunity for the sport to shine in the middle of the current NBA lockout.,” said Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti.
“Our whole goal was to keep this event in New York City. They had every right to ask for someone in New York that they knew to conduct additional tests. He’s OK to fight and that’s the most important thing. We’re ready to go.”
Arum said the controversy will only draw more attention to Cotto-Margarito II
“With all of the publicity and all of the talk, this probably will account for 100,000 or maybe even 200,000 more buys,” said Arum. “As of this morning, there were 1,485 tickets left. But now, I expect that they will really go. So it’s going to be sold out.”
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org