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By Thomas Hauser
The Nevada State Athletic Commission is at a crossroads. In the past, the NSAC has been in the forefront of setting medical standards for boxing. It has instituted mandatory MRI testing for fighters. Its medical director is the equal of any ringside physician in the world. And the commission has dealt appropriately with important test cases involving boxers like Joe Mesi, Terry Norris, and Augie Sanchez.
But over the past year, there have been signs that normal NSAC medical procedures are being circumvented by a minority of commission members. More specifically, it appears as though ring physicians have been assigned and several fighters have been removed from the suspension list to placate certain promoters.
Now Marco Antonio Barrera is scheduled to fight Erik Morales in Las Vegas on November 27th. Barrera-Morales III is notable for two reasons. First, it's the third installment of a classic trilogy between two superb boxers. And second, Barrera's return to the fight capital of the world will force the Nevada State Athletic Commission to deal with some thorny issues.