Kevin Iole Is Wrong: Margarito Does Not "Deserve" To Be Licensed To Box In Texas

January 27, 2010

Let me first state that I have tremendous respect for the writing of Yahoo! Sports Boxing columnist Kevin Iole. However, his recent article on January 27, 2010 entitled, “Despite flaws, Margarito deserves reinstatement,” bothers me a great deal.

In the article, Iole discusses the likely re-licensing of disgraced boxer Antonio Margarito. Although Iole acknowledges he does not believe Margarito’s story that he “didn’t know” about the plaster wraps before his bout with Shane Mosley, he states that Margarito “deserves reinstatement.”

He further asserts that “there is no justification for denying him his license” and concludes by stating that Margarito is basically an unethical guy but because “he is someone who can fulfill the Texas requirements for a boxing license....he should be licensed when he applies.”

If Texas law required Margarito to be licensed, it might be appropriate to say “he should” be licensed. Even then, one wonders if promoting the enforcement of a stupid law is something we “should do” as opposed to something we merely “have to do.”

But aside from the semantics of that argument, there is the more fundamental question of whether Texas has to allow Margarito to fight.

Common sense would suggest that any licensing board of any kind would have some discretionary language that would not obligate them to privilege someone like Margarito with a boxing license. A little research on the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) website reveals the following regulation:

Occupations Code, Chapter 51
Sec. 51.4012. License Eligibility Requirements Regarding Applicant’s Background; Determination Letter.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the commission may determine that a person is not eligible for a license based on the person's criminal history or other information that indicates that the person lacks the honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity to hold a license issued by the department.

Considering Margarito’s utter lack of credibility and his dangerous behavior before the Mosley fight, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the TDLR has the discretion to prevent Margarito from being licensed because he is dishonest and untrustworthy. Iole essentially outlines these behaviors in his own article.

Of course, the TDLR may choose to allow Margarito to fight, but let’s at least not let them hide behind the argument that they were simply “following the rules” and had no choice.

Allowing Margarito to fight would be an acknowledgment by the TDLR that they simply don’t take Margarito’s behavior before the Mosley fight seriously. Sadly, that may only add to the negative stereotype of “Texas Justice” that is mocked by so many.

By Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

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