Boxing Match To Be Held In El Paso If Security Measures Can Be Met
Univ. of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announced Friday that he “will allow a high-profile boxing match to be held on the school's El Paso campus if law enforcement can ensure a safe environment, reversing a 3-day-old ban that had upset city leaders,” according to Llorca & Vertuno of the AP. Cigarroa had canceled the June 16 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Andy Lee fight at the Sun Bowl, citing a "higher than normal" security risk. A law enforcement official on Friday said that a “federal risk assessment had warned that leaders of warring Mexican drug cartels would attend.” UT-El Paso President Diana Natalicio said that Cigarroa “told her one reason he cancelled the fight was a tie between Chavez Jr. and Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin ‘Chapo’ Guzman mentioned in a federal security report.” Local media have reported Chavez Jr. is “in a relationship” with the widow of Guzman's son. Cigarroa set “several conditions for the fight to go forward: State, local and federal law enforcement must promise they can handle any security measures, the contract with the promoter and the security plan must be approved by system officials in advance, and no alcohol can be served.” Top Rank Chair Bob Arum, who is promoting the fight, said that he was “surprised by the restrictions,” but that he will “have to get assurances” from UTEP and local police by early this week that the restrictions can be met. If not, Arum said that he will “move the fight to Houston.” Texas state Sen. Jose Rodriguez on Friday dismissed the cartel report as "incredulous." He said that the cartel leaders “weren't likely to show up at a high-security, highly publicized event with a strong police presence” (AP, 4/27). In El Paso, Bill Knight wrote, “Our city officials, our politicians got the decision reversed. They all stepped up. They fought. Bob Arum deserves credit, too.” El Pasoans “must find a way to win this final round, to get alcohol sales approved in the Sun Bowl” (EL PASO TIMES, 4/29).