Antonio Margarito seeks Texas license
Former welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito's bid for a boxing license was denied in California on Wednesday, but he is not wasting any time in an effort to secure one in Texas, the state where he hopes to fight.
Margarito made the first move in applying for a license in Texas on Thursday, supplying state regulators with a faxed application, Susan Stanford, public information officer for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, told ESPN.com.
"We have received a faxed application on behalf of Margarito," Stanford said. "But a faxed application is an incomplete application."
The reason: The state still needs to receive the $20 fee for the license before it will consider the application complete, Stanford said.
"We understand there is a hard-copy application with a check in the mail," she said.
Margarito needs a license in Texas so Top Rank promoter Bob Arum can move forward with his plans for Margarito to face Manny Pacquiao for a vacant junior middleweight title on Nov. 13 on HBO PPV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, site of Pacquiao's dominant decision against Joshua Clottey on March 13.
Margarito had his license revoked in California after a January 2009 knockout loss to Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Before the fight, his hand wraps were discovered to have illegal inserts coated in a plaster-like substance. His hands were rewrapped and he lost the fight.
A couple of weeks later, the California State Athletic Commission revoked the licenses of Margarito and trainer Javier Capetillo, who had wrapped Margarito's hands.
Margarito, who has severed ties with Capetillo, a longtime father figure to him, has insisted that he was unaware of anything illegal being placed into his hand wraps.
When he went before the California commission on Wednesday in an effort to be relicensed, now that the one-year revocation period has expired, the panel was again unmoved by his story.
It voted to deny his license by a 5-1 vote following a nearly six-hour hearing, meaning he can't reapply in California for at least a year.
However, by appearing before the California commission, Margarito, 32, adhered to the request of the Association Boxing Commissions, which oversees and interprets rules for state commissions, and is now free to apply anywhere in the United States. Commissions can now license him at their discretion.
The ABC issued a memo on Thursday reiterating to state commissions that Margarito had fulfilled his obligations.
"At this time Mr. Margarito has fulfilled his obligations per the ABC [which was to appear before the CSAC before applying for licensure to another state/tribal commission in the United States] and thus he is now free to pursue licensure with any ABC member commission," the ABC's statement read. "There is nothing under the federal law that would prohibit consideration for licensure. The ABC would hope that each ABC member commission would examine the facts that have been laid out by the CSAC and weigh those facts in determining if Mr. Margarito should indeed be licensed to compete in their jurisdiction."
Stanford said once Margarito's $20 check arrives, his application will be considered like any other fighter's.
"We have licensing specialists that review it and all state laws and rules are considered," she said. "If it meets the laws and rules, the license will be granted. But every application is taken on a case by case basis, and Margarito's will be no different."
She said members of her department watched video of Margarito's hearing, but that in Texas he won't need one to be licensed.
"We don't require a hearing," she said. "We either grant it or deny. If it's denied, the applicant has a right to a hearing if he asks for it."
She said once full application requirements are with her department, the application would be ruled on "within 10 days."
Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.