Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Drug cartel warnings invade fight

EL PASO, Texas — A high-profile match on the University of Texas El Paso campus will be held if law enforcement can ensure a safe environment, the University of Texas System chancellor said, reversing his 3-day-old ban.

Francisco Cigarroa had canceled the June 16 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Andy Lee at the Sun Bowl, citing a "higher than normal" security risk. A federal risk assessment had warned that leaders of warring Mexican drug cartels would attend, the Associated Press reported Friday.

UTEP president Diana Natalicio said Cigarroa told her one reason he canceled the fight was a tie between Chavez and Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman mentioned in a federal security report.

Local media have reported Chavez 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. And no alcohol can be served.

Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said he was surprised by the restrictions. Arum said he would have to get assurances from UTEP and local police by early this week that they can be met. If not, Arum said, he would move the fight to Houston.

"This is preposterous. We've never had one bit of problems in Los Angeles, Houston or San Antonio, which are all big Hispanic communities, on a Chavez fight," Arum said.

The risk report, done by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, also said leaders of the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels would be present at the fight. The cartels have waged a bloody war in Ciudad Juarez across the Rio Grande from El Paso for control of drug smuggling routes and other criminal enterprises in the city.

Cigarroa's decision to cancel the fight angered El Paso officials and state lawmakers, who accused him of fostering a culture of fear that the city has been overrun by cartel-related violence. Despite the drug war raging in Mexico, El Paso ranks among the safest cities in the nation in terms of violent crime.

State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, dismissed the cartel report as "incredulous" and said cartel leaders weren't likely to attend a high-security, highly publicized event with a strong police presence.

Arum laughed at the cartel warning: "Of course members of the cartels will come. When I first started promoting, there were Mafia families at Madison Square Garden. It would seem like a good place to arrest them."

Drug cartel warnings invade fight 04/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 29, 2012 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing

    Outdoors

    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?

    Ml

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  3. Jeff Vinik contributing $6 million to fund Lightning's practice facility upgrade

    Blogs

    Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will invest $6 million in upgrading the team's practice facility, the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  4. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  5. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …