Mosley/Margarito fight is moved to Staples Center

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The Jan. 24 world welterweight title fight between champion Antonio Margarito and Pomona’s ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley has been moved from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to Staples Center, fight officials said today.

The shift comes just days after Mosley’s statements to the grand jury that investigated the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative were released. In them, the four-time world champion acknowledged that he knew that he was taking the oxygen-boosting drug EPO and was told to deceptively refer to the designer steroid THG as ‘flaxseed oil.’


The information was first reported by the New York Daily News.

Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Keith Kizer told The Times today that the commission was likely to confront Mosley about the revelations because he had previously told Nevada officials that he didn’t believe he had taken anything that was on the banned list of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He was more forthcoming, however, in the earlier discussion with the grand jury.

‘He’s had to address these issues before [about what he knowingly used] but he’d have to come before us again anyway because of his age [36], and in the course and scope of that hearing, we’d submit him questions that would be useful from this new information,’ Kizer said.

Late Wednesday night, BALCO founder Victor Conte, who’s fighting a slander suit filed against him by Mosley, said in an e-mail that the boxer should be punished for not being as forthcoming with Nevada officials as he was with the BALCO grand jury.

‘There is a mountain of evidence that Shane Mosley knowingly used EPO and anabolic steroids before his fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2003,’ Conte wrote in the e-mail. ‘USADA has used ‘non-analytical positive’ proof of doping through witnesses, documents and other evidence to bring doping charges and ban athletes. Cyclist Kayle Leogrande is a recent example of this involving the use of EPO. Maybe the boxing commission needs to conduct an investigation of performance enhancing drug use by Shane Mosley.’
Kizer was surprised to learn that promoters had moved the fight from Mandalay Bay to Los Angeles, but he added that he didn’t believe the Mosley camp was trying to avoid additional scrutiny or possible discipline in Nevada.

Margarito’s promoter, Bob Arum, said the fight was moved because MGM/Mirage only agreed to buy $200,000 in tickets, when Arum and Golden Boy Promotions had assumed the company would purchase up to $500,000 in tickets.

‘It’s the week before the Super Bowl and the end of the Chinese New Year; the market was very smooth,’ Arum said. ‘We knew Staples was available, and we made a deal figuring we might as well take the fight to where these fighters’ fans are. Mosley’s from Los Angeles, and Margarito (who trains in the San Gabriel Valley and lives in Tijuana] basically is too. It’s an L.A. fight.’

-- Lance Pugmire