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Antonio Margarito granted license to box in Texas

The state of Texas on Thursday issued a boxing license to Antonio Margarito 17 months after California revoked the Mexican boxer’s license for nearly taking gloves loaded with plaster inserts into a January 2009 fight at Staples Center.

The decision by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Executive Director William Kuntz paves the way for Margarito, the former world welterweight champion, to fight Manny Pacquiao for a world super-welterweight belt Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Kuntz said in a statement that his department’s “thorough review” included a review of the Aug. 18 California State Athletic Commission hearing in which Margarito was denied reinstatement by a 5-1 vote. Without a hearing, Texas also considered a letter from the Assn. of Boxing Commissions that authorized states to relicense Margarito.

Margarito has repeatedly insisted that he had no idea his still-suspended former trainer Javier Capetillo planted the inserts atop the knuckles in both of the fighter’s wraps. The inserts were confiscated before the bout, and Margarito suffered a ninth-round technical knockout loss to Shane Mosley.

“It’s kind of disappointing,” said George Dodd, the executive officer of the California commission. “I don’t think Texas got a chance to look at it like we did.

— Lance Pugmire

Nadal, Wozniacki seeded No. 1 in U.S. Open

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal faces the daunting prospect of possibly having to beat Roger Federer and Andy Murray to win the U.S. Open for the first time and complete a career Grand Slam.

If the seedings hold, Nadal would face Murray in the semifinals and Federer in the final.

Caroline Wozniacki is the top-seeded player in the women’s draw, which is without Serena Williams, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, and Justine Henin. Both players are injured. Defending champion Kim Clijsters is seeded No. 2.

The tournament begins Monday in New York.

Krstic suspended, fined for role in brawl

Oklahoma City Thunder center Nenad Krstic was suspended for three games and fined nearly $44,000 for his roll in a brawl during a game last week in Greece. The suspension will force Krstic to sit out Serbia’s opening games at the world championships in Turkey. Meanwhile, Philadelphia 76ers forward Andres Nocioni won’t play for Argentina at the tournament because of a left ankle injury. …

Former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry is returning to the San Antonio Spurs as the team’s vice president of basketball operations. …

Denver police are investigating an alleged altercation between Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith and another person, whose name was not available, at the team’s practice facility Aug. 13. …

A deal to sell a minority share of the Cavaliers to a Chinese investment group has collapsed, the team said. …

Investigation into North Carolina football team expands

North Carolina and the NCAA are expanding an investigation into possible violations by the school’s football team that might include infractions related to agents. School officials said at a news conference that they had learned of possible academic misconduct involving a former undergraduate tutor and football players.

“Everything that we can possibly do from the full cooperative standpoint, we are absolutely committed to doing that,” said football Coach Butch Davis, who acknowledged that one of the tutors also worked for his family. …

Roger Clemens, who was indicted last week on charges of lying to Congress, will be arraigned Monday in a federal courtroom in Washington, according to the court docket. …

Texas beat Washington, 7-5, to advance to the U.S. final at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Texas will play the winner of Friday’s game between Hawaii and Georgia on Saturday. …

Cappie Pondexter scored 28 points, leading the host New York Liberty to an 85-73 victory over the Indiana Fever in Game 1 of the best-of-three WNBA Eastern Conference semifinals. …

Candice Dupree scored a career-high 32 points as the Phoenix Mercury beat the San Antonio Silver Stars, 106-93, in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. …

Michelle Wie made the second hole-in-one of her pro career on her way to a seven-under-par 65 and a three-shot lead over Sarah Kemp of Australia after the first round of the Canadian Women’s Open at Winnipeg, Canada. Wie’s ace came on the 190-yard, par-three 11th hole. …

Defending champion Byeong-Hun An advanced to the quarterfinals of the 110th U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., with a 4 and 3 victory over Alex Shi Yup Kim and a 3 and 2 win against Scott Strohmeyer. …

Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine upset top-seeded Marcos Baghdatis, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (4), in the quarterfinals of the Pilot Pen tennis tournament at New Haven, Conn. …

The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t re-sign forward Bill Guerin, 39, and will give several young forwards a chance to play on one of their top lines. …

The Dallas Stars agreed to terms with defenseman Nicklas Grossman on a two-year contract worth $3.25 million. …

Mike Ouellet, the chief of business affairs for the NHL Players’ Assn., denied reports that Donald Fehr had accepted an offer to become executive director of the union. Fehr, the former head of the Major League Baseball Players’ Assn., has been serving as an unpaid consultant since November. …

Maurice Clarett can’t sign with the Omaha Nighthawks until the team shows it has a support system in place for the former Ohio State star, United Football League Commissioner Michael Huyghue said. …


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