- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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The boxing schedule really cooled off during the hot summer, but there are a number of significant cards coming in the fall, which is why the Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to be quite busy.
The agenda for the monthly commission meeting on Friday in Las Vegas is packed, as there are several items the panel must deal with ahead of a loaded schedule that begins in the coming weeks. There are also several MMA items on the agenda, which is about as heavy as any I have seen.
Here's a look at some of the notable boxing items:
• Middleweight champ Sergio Martinez, former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine and former flyweight titlist Eric Morel all have passed their 35th birthdays, which is the cutoff age in Nevada at which a fighter needs to seek special commission permission for a license. Fighters under 35 can be issued a license administratively so long as they pay the $25 fee and have their medical paperwork in order. But after a fighter hits 35, additional medical testing is required and the license must be approved by the full commission.
All three are likely to be licensed without issue. Martinez, of course, will headline the Sept. 15 HBO PPV card against titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the Thomas & Mack Center. Alcine will face middleweight contender Matthew Macklin on the undercard. Morel is due to challenge bantamweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz on the competing Showtime quadrupleheader (headlined by junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez against Josesito Lopez) down the street at the MGM Grand.
• Every time there is a boxing card held in Nevada, the promoters of the event must formally request the date from the commission. Several of those items are on the agenda. Golden Boy will officially request Sept. 8 for a Showtime card at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. Welterweight titlist Randall Bailey will defend against Devon Alexander in the main event, with Ajose Olusegun facing Lucas Matthysse for a vacant interim junior welterweight title in the co-feature.
Lou DiBella, who promotes Martinez, is requesting Sept. 15 to co-promote the Martinez-Chavez card with Top Rank, while Dan Goossen, Lopez's co-promoter, is requesting Sept. 15 to co-promote the MGM Grand show.
• Top Rank will formally seek to reserve Nov. 10 at the MGM Grand for an HBO PPV show. That was supposed to be the card on which Manny Pacquiao would make his return, although his opponent isn't yet set and Pacquiao's fight likely will move to Dec. 1 instead.
• Commission meetings are also where referees and judges for major fights are assigned. A slew of them will be assigned at Friday's meeting, including those for Bailey-Alexander, Olusegun-Matthysse, Alvarez-Lopez, the featherweight title bout between Jhonny Gonzalez and challenger Daniel Ponce De Leon (part of the Sept. 15 MGM show), Santa Cruz-Morel, Martinez-Chavez and the vacant junior lightweight title bout between Miguel Beltran Jr. and Roman Martinez, who will fight on the Sept. 15 Thomas & Mack card.
• One item not on the agenda that was expected to be is a hearing for junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson, who was supposed to seek a license and an opportunity to explain his positive drug test (for synthetic testosterone), which forced his rematch against Amir Khan to be canceled. It had been scheduled to take place May 19 in Las Vegas.
Peterson's camp had insisted it would seek a license in Nevada but has continually put off the hearing.
"I never heard back from Peterson's attorney, Pete Bernhard, who told me he would call me last week but did not," commission executive director Keith Kizer said.