- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Luis Resto, who served time in prison for assault because he went into the ring against foe Billy Collins in their 1983 Madison Square Garden fight with padding taken out of his gloves, has been denied a license to work as a cornerman in New York State, by the New York State Athletic Commission.
The Puerto Rican born Bronx resident, now 55, had hoped that he'd served his time, and would get a second chance doing the thing he still loves, and really, the only thing he knows. But the NYSAC didn't see it fit to give Resto, who ended 20-8, another entry into the sport. Resto was banned from boxing officially at the time of his conviction, in 1986, though he has worked in gyms since then.
The whole affair was detailed in superb fashion in the documentary "Assault in the Ring." The producer of that effort, Eric Drath, backed Resto's wish to get back into the sport. He has said he was moved by the plight of Resto, who he felt was manuevered by then trainer "Panama" Lewis. And though he felt saddened at the fate of Collins, who died in a car wreck in 1984, Drath told NYFightBlog that he whole-heartedly felt Resto was no threat to anyone, that he paid full price for his mis-step, and he deserved a license. He indicated to us that it seems strange NYSAC allowed Antonio Margarito a license to fight Miguel Cotto in December, after he was busted for trying to use loaded hand wraps in 2009, and rebuffed Resto.
The NYSAC, among athletic commissions in the US, does have more tortured political calculations to make than most, because of this incident, and then the televised beating on the USS Intrepid at the hands of George Jones and subsequent death from brain trauma of Beethaeven Scottland in 2001, followed by the case and trial pitting Joey Gamache against NYSAC, after the commission didn't follow correct protocol in the 2000 weigh-in prior to the Gamache-Arturo Gatti MSG fight. A much heavier, by about 20 pounds, Gatti pummeled Gamache, who suffered brain damage in the fight, and wasn't able to fight again. I will reach out to the NYSAC to obtain their reasoning in refusing Resto a license.