The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will convene in another emergency session early next week and is expected to approve the application of Carlos (Panama) Lewis to work the corner of Antonio Margarito in his Nov. 13 pay-per-view extravaganza at Cowboys Stadium against pound-for-pound champion Many Pacquiao.
On Thursday the Texas body had swiftly approved Margarito’s application to box in Texas, even though it flew in the face of a suspension recognized by most jurisdictions in the civilized world.
After a thorough review of his application it was determined Mr. Margarito met the requirements of the Texas Combative Sports Act and Rules, Executive Director William Kuntz said in explaining the Texas ruling. “Based on the review of the above information, I have authorized the issuance of a license to Mr. Margarito.
Lewis had been barred from boxing throughout the world in the 27 years since he was convicted of having loaded the gloves of Luis Resto prior to Resto’s fight against the late Billy Collins, Jr. That shameful episode in boxing history was the subject of Eric Drath’s award-winning film “Assault in the Ring for which HBO won an Emmy Award last year.
Ironically, the network which aired that hard-hitting expose will now produce the pay-per-view telecast of the Pacquiao-Margarito fight, a bout in which one of the principles stands accused of having done exactly the same thing Luis Resto did.Within hours of Margarito’s re-licensing, HBO also announced plans for a four-part 24/7 series leading up to the fight.
At the time of Drath’s documentary Resto, who for years had maintained his innocence, owned up to having known that Lewis tampered with his gloves prior to the Madison Square Garden fight against Collins.
Margarito’s trainer Javier Capetillo had similarly taken responsibility for the loaded gloves his fighter tried to take into the ring against Shane Mosley in their Jan. 24, 2009 bout.
Kuntz said that Capetillo’s confession made his situation analogous to Resto’s, and that because he had admitted his guilt, Texas would not consider licensing the disgraced Mexican trainer.
“But like Margarito, Panama Lewis has consistently lied about his involvement, said the Texas commissioner. “In order to be consistent, we will reward his deceit by granting him a license, too. Otherwise we might have a lawsuit on our hands.
Although the Texas body is expected to move swiftly in licensing Lewis, one more hurdle remains to be cleared before final approval is granted. As a precondition to the final licensing process, the Department of Licensing and Regulation has insisted that both parties agree to its nomination of Laurence Cole as the referee for the November 13 fight, as well as to its proposed slate of judges – Dickie Cole, Gale Van Hoy, and Judge Roy Bean.
*consider this an early April first special