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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Kevin Iole thinks that the Manny Pacquiao/Antonio Margarito fight will happen at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas

By Zach Arnold | July 30, 2010

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When you read the transcript of this chat between Yahoo Sports writers Kevin Iole & Steve Cofield about why the fight won’t happen in Las Vegas, it’s interesting that one of the few times we see Keith Kizer and the commission take a bold stand on an issue is when it comes to Antonio Margarito. So, with Las Vegas likely out of the running, you’re looking at Dallas (Cowboys Stadium), Monterrey (where Erik Morales fought last March), Atlantic City, or Abu Dhabi. (An update on Abu Dhabi potentially hosting the fight can be read here.)

Onto the transcript…

STEVE COFIELD: “A lot of news there to talk about. Obviously, a big controversy right now with Margarito and Pacman. Bob Arum’s mentioning a lot of different sites. … Atlantic City might be in the mix. It seems like more and more Vegas is kind of being moved into a mix with you know four or five different options. Is that right?”

KEVIN IOLE: “I think Vegas is not really in the mix at all right now because the athletic commission just doesn’t seem to want the fight here. They are concerned about Margarito, they don’t want to be the ones to license him in the U.S. based on what happened in California in January of 2009 and from what I’m hearing, at least four of the five commissioners (other than Chairman) are going to vote no if in fact Margarito comes in front of them, so Arum desperately wants to put the fight in Las Vegas because he lives here, it’s you know few places can compare to Las Vegas in terms of doing a big fight and he knows, Arum knows, how badly the city needs this and he’s getting pressure from a lot of his friends in town, a lot of the money-set, you know, says hey Bob, bring this fight here, it’s going to do a lot. You have to remember, Steve, in 2009, the MGM hosted Pacquiao and Cotto and according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, that was the first time in 22 months that state casinos had shown a win at the tables and their analysts attributed it to the present of Pacquiao/Cotto at the MGM Grand and they pointed out that it’s because of the high-rolling Asian gamblers that Pacquiao attracts and he’ll bring in those for another fight, you know, with Margarito but if they go elsewhere, obviously that doesn’t happen. So, Arum is really wanting to put the fight in Las Vegas but his hands are kind of tied here and it looks like it’s going to go elsewhere. My guess is going to be it’s going to end up in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Yeah, I’ve mentioned many times I don’t want to see the Nevada commission sell their soul just to make money for Las Vegas and Nevada, but there’s precedent here. I mean, they’ve had a deal in the past with a very controversial Mike Tyson and Tyson was allowed to fight again.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah. You know, I want to make my position on this clear. I think Margarito, what he did was despicable and I believe that he knew. However, the evidence that was presented at the hearing was that he didn’t know because the inspector had already approved the hand that turned out to have the illegal hand wrap in it and Nazim Richardson was complaining about the other hand. Margarito voluntarily gave the hand that had the illegal knuckle pad in it and that’s when the hardened substance was discovered, so you know I mean whether he was playing games or not but he was the one that volunteered so the evidence that was presented was that he did not know. And remember, so he did not wear it into the ring. That doesn’t make what was done any less. But having said that, Mike Tyson bit somebody. He bit a guy on his ear in the ring! He was out for a year, back in Nevada fighting again against Frans Botha. He puts an arm bar on Frans Botha in his fight against Botha before MMA was legal then and tried to break both of his arms and they licensed him again to fight Norris in which he fouled Norris, so it took three heinous fouls in a row before Nevada said to Mike Tyson, hey, go ahead. You know, Margarito never actually fouled in the ring. I find him despicable and I’m not encouraging people to buy the PPV, that’s a different story. You know, I’m just saying I think from a legal fairness standpoint, you know he meets the criteria. He served the penalty that California had given him. If they had given him five years, I would have said hey, that was legitimate but they gave him a year suspension. I think that he should be licensed and the fight should be in Nevada but I think it’s going to end up in Arlington, Texas at Cowboys Stadium.”

STEVE COFIELD: “So, Texas on the top of the list. You think there’ll be any issue with the commission there? I don’t know much about the fight commission in Texas.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Uh, you know, it’s a good ole boy commission unfortunately not one of the better commissions in the US but they will get it done there. Margarito would have probably fought on the Pacquiao/Clottey undercard in Arlington in March had there been a little bit more time but what had happened was they were negotiating for that Pacquiao/Mayweather fight for so long and they put the Pacquiao/Clottey fight together at the last minute that they really didn’t have the time to give the commission the amount of time it needed.

“And certainly, New Jersey’s going to be in the mix, Steve. They, you know, they have a lot of money. The casinos there, work together unlike the casinos in Las Vegas, which often you know it’s MGM Resorts International, that’s the new name, they kind of work independently of all the other casinos in town here. But in New Jersey they work together. I think New Jersey will put up a strong big to get the fight but I think that because of the tax situation, because of the capacity of the arena and because of the location with such a heavily Hispanic area there with so many Mexican fans having easy access to Dallas and being able to get there, I think that would make sense where they could put a lot of people in that arena as opposed to going to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City where you’re going to look at a live attendance of no more than about 10,000, 10,500.”

STEVE COFIELD: “So how soon will this come together and is November 13th the date at Cowboys Stadium if that’s where it’s going to be?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, Cowboys Stadium is available on that date, so that will be the date of the fight. November 13th. And I think it can come together in the next month or so, it’s not going to be a long process at all. I’m sure that wherever Margarito eventually get licensed and what he’ll have to do is appear before the athletic commission in that state and answer questions of them and they’re going to have to feel comfortable that he wasn’t culpable in the thing, that he didn’t know, and it’s hard to prove that he did especially given his actions when the inspector was looking at the other hand and Nazim Richardson was complaining about the other hand. Margarito volunteered the hand that actually had the problem in the wrap, so that gives him a really strong argument right now and maybe Margarito is really clever and he thought of that as a way to say, see, I don’t know. Maybe that’s what he did. But the bottom line is that he did do it. He didn’t fight in the ring with the thing in his hand and he did volunteer to have his hand inspected, so I do think he should be licensed. Now, whether people are going to have to make up their own mind as to whether they buy a ticket, whether they pay for PPV to support him. Just the fact that the way he behaved in the aftermath when he was kind of arrogant. He didn’t show any humility at all. He had a press conference, Steve, in January in California and he was very combative and he would not really take any responsibility whatsoever. He would show no remorse so what had happened whatsoever. So, you know, people seeing that may say, I don’t want to support this guy. But I think if you’re fair-minded, you have to say that based on historical precedent, based on evidence he should be licensed.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Yeah, I have a gut feeling and you tell me what yours is that people don’t care. Time will pass and I don’t think there’s going to be many protesters out there. They’l still do pretty good numbers.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I think it will do less than what it would have been had he not had the thing with Mosley. If the fight had gone the exactly same way with Mosley, he had gotten knocked out but just they hadn’t cut the hand wraps. Yeah, I think he’ll do a little bit less but what is that going to be, a couple percent? I don’t think it’s going to be big. My Twitter account is bombed right now by angry people but you know you have to remember that the people that are following me at hardcore. You know, those are the boxing fans, those are the MMA fans and those are the people that are going to have the most passion for this. The average person, hey Pacquiao’s fighting, they don’t maybe know who Margarito is, they just want to see Pacquiao fight.”

Topics: Boxing, Media, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Kevin Iole thinks that the Manny Pacquiao/Antonio Margarito fight will happen at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas”

  1. Fluyid says:

    Works for me.

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