Hi 81 / Lo 73
|Volume 72, Issue 97,
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Boxer not knocked out by mistaken diagnosis
He went out in his prime. Before he was indefinitely suspended from professional boxing for testing HIV positive back in 1996, Tommy Morrison had bullied his way up to a 46-3-1 record, including 40 knockouts.
Morrison, now 38, was given a license Tuesday by the West Virginia Athletic Commission to enter the ring again. It turns out he does not have HIV. Morrison said he believed from the very beginning that the test that stole his career nearly 11 years ago was false-positive, and a battery of tests taken in Arizona turned out to be just the proof he needed.
In an interview with sportline.com, Morrison came up with multiple theories on why he couldn't enter the ring, includinga rival promoter rigging the test, and possibly even a governmental conspiracy.
One thing Morrison has not done in his interviews since recovering his boxing license has been to bash the state boxing commissioners -- a classy move on his part.
Eleven years is an eternity as far as technology goes, but the results from HIV tests were still considered to be accurate. World Boxing Organization officials justly trusted them, and suspending Morrison was the safest method to deal with his condition with respect to the sport's other boxers.
For good reason, boxing officials wanted to eliminate the potential spreading of AIDS throughout its sport, which frequently produces open cuts and bleeding.
It was just unfortunate for Morrison that a test of such importance -- for his life as well as his career -- came out with the wrong results in a bizarre twist of fate.
His first fight since the incident Thursday against John Castle.
Morrison, who played a role in Rocky V, will attempt
to write his own underdog story.
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