US group asks Mexico officials not to allow Morrison to fight
The Association of Boxing Commissions has no oversight of the sport in Mexico, but the organization is imploring officials there to bar heavyweight Tommy Morrison from fighting Saturday night.
Morrison, a one-time top contender who first tested positive in 1996 for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is scheduled to face Matt Weishaar (3-0-2, 1 KO) in Leon, Mexico, in a four-round bout to be televised as part of Top Rank's "Latin Fury" pay-per-view card headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. against Jose Celaya. Morrison has said repeatedly in the past year that numerous subsequent blood tests have shown he is not infected with HIV.
"While cognizant of its absence of jurisdiction outside the borders of the United States and its territories, in light of the licensing history of Tommy Morrison, the Association of Boxing Commissions strongly recommends that Mr. Morrison not be allowed to participate in any professional boxing matches until, and unless, he satisfies certain medical testing, as otherwise would be required prior to Mr. Morrison participating in a professional boxing match in the United States," ABC president Tim Lueckenhoff wrote Saturday in a letter to the Mexican Provincial Boxing Commission for Guanajuato, the state in which Leon is located.
The ABC, a non-profit organization that represents state and tribal boxing commissions in the United States, mainly promotes health and safety in boxing but has no enforcement authority over its members.
Morrison weighed in for the fight Friday at 233 pounds. Weishaar was 240.
After 11 years out of the ring, Morrison, 39, mounted a comeback in February 2007 after several blood tests showed no sign of the virus. He was granted a license to fight in West Virginia, where he knocked out novice pro John Castle in the second round Feb. 22.
Morrison (47-3-1, 41 KOs) has not boxed since. Another fight was canceled in Texas in April when officials initially cleared him, then called off the fight when the paperwork from his lab tests did not arrive in time.
Morrison participated in an unsanctioned mixed martial arts bout in June in Camp Verde, Ariz., but he didn't have to take a blood test before the fight because it took place on an Indian reservation, which was outside the jurisdiction of Arizona's boxing commission.
Mexico also does not require pre-fight blood tests.
A day before the MMA bout, Randy Lang, Morrison's former agent, claimed that Morrison was still HIV-positive. He said the tests that showed Morrison was clean were the result of fraud and that Morrison had tested positive for HIV as late as January 2007, one month before he boxed in West Virginia.
Morrison has maintained that he is clean and that Lang was a disgruntled former employee with an ax to grind. However, since the accusation, Morrison has kept a low profile and would have had difficulty gaining a license elsewhere in the U.S.
Morrison has said he would go to Nevada and have a public blood test to prove that he was not HIV-positive, but that effort has not materialized.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.