The highly anticipated boxing fight between Mexican Antonio Margarito and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto scheduled for December 3 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, is in jeopardy.
Promoter Bob Arum whose company Top Rank Promotions, promotes both fighters, told ESPN.com the fight may be moved to another venue outside of New York if the New York State Athletic Commission denies Margarito a license to fight in New York.
The reason for probable denial of Margarito's license to fight in New York has something to do with Margarito's damaged right eye.
The commission has denied Margarito's first application in New York last October 31 because of the eye injury he suffered during his fight with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquaio.
Arum said that if the commission denies the second application, the fight will proceed as scheduled on December 3 but it will be held in another venue.
"Worst-case scenario is that they deny the license, and if they do, we have five other venues as backups," said Arum, who declined to name the other venues. "But we are still going Dec. 3. We're doing the fight. We have a license (for Margarito) from a few states. You play the hand that you're dealt. I'm not going to get myself worried about it. Hopefully, the commission does the right thing and grants the license."
In 2008, Margarito and Cotto fought in a welterweight match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with Margarito inflicting heavy damage on Cotto in a bloody match that ended in the 11th round TKO in favor of Margarito.
In his 2009 fight with Shane Mosley, Margarito was caught with illegal hand wraps before the fight which was held at the Staples Center that ended in a TKO in favor of Mosley. Later Margarito was stripped of his license to fight in California as a consequence of the illegal use of substance found in his hand wraps.
Because of the illegal hand wrap incident, some boxing insiders speculated the same may have been used by Margarito in their first encounter.
The Margarito vs. Cotto fight is expected to attract thousands of boxing fans from Puerto Rico and Mexico as well as Puerto Rican and Mexican residents on New York.
The New York State decision on Margarito's license application is expected to be announced by Top Rank Promotions over the weekend.