No decision for McCall
By Dean Juipe
LAS VEGAS SUN
For lack of documentation verifying his competence, a disciplinary hearing by
the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding boxer Oliver McCall has
McCall was suspended indefinitely by the commission after quitting during his
Feb. 7 fight with WBC heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis at the Las Vegas Hilton.
McCall broke into tears during the latter stages of that bout, which was called
in the fifth round when McCall would not defend himself.
While it appeared on Tuesday the NSAC was ready to accept a stipulated
agreement with McCall via his local attorney, Marty Keach, the NSAC balked when
Keach could not produce an affidavit confirming McCall was competent and that
he understood the terms of the agreement.
“Why don’t we have that letter from his doctor?” NSAC member Dr. James Nave
asked Keach. Keach initially apologized for not having the letter, but later,
outside the City Hall chambers where the meeting was held, he said he was never
formally told a letter confirming McCall’s competency would be required.
Nonetheless, he said he would attempt to procure one.
The NSAC did not reset a formal date for a hearing on McCall; it could be held
in conjunction with a Mike Tyson hearing next week or it could be further
Had Keach produced documentation of McCall’s competency, the NSAC may have
accepted the stipulated agreement in which McCall would be suspended for one
year (from Feb. 7) and be fined $250,000.
The NSAC is withholding McCall’s $2.5 million purse for the Lewis fight pending
resolution of its disciplinary hearing.
“While we do not have an affidavit from a physician, I spoke to Oliver on
the phone for perhaps an hour and went through the stipulation virtually line
by line and I felt he fully understood it,” Keach said. “He asked a number of
questions that would indicate he understood the conditions. I feel he fully
understands the severity of what happened in the ring and the severity of the
But Nave was not appeased and made a motion to proceed with a formal hearing
Tuesday. However, due to the distraction of the NSAC’s decision at the same
meeting pertaining to Mike Tyson, the McCall hearing was postponed.
“It’s too much like a circus in here to have that hearing now,” said NSAC
legal counsel Gordie Fink, advocating the McCall hearing be postponed.
When it is reconvened, Keach hopes the NSAC will accept the stipulated
“I don’t know that they will (accept it),” he said. “But I’ll ask.”
Without having McCall present at the hearing and without documentation from a
physician, the commission showed some reluctance to merely suspend McCall for
Keach said McCall was at his Virginia home. He also said he did not know if
McCall has been undergoing counseling or receiving therapy in light of his
breakdown in the ring. Keach did say that an earlier report carried on the
Associated Press wire that McCall had been involuntarily detained at a mental
health facility was inaccurate.
He blamed McCall’s problems on substance abuse.
“This commission is aware, as I think everyone associated with Oliver is, that
he has had a problem with substance abuse,” Keach said. “I’m led to believe
he’s working on that problem. But he has not been committed and there’s no
attempt on my part to deceive the commission or hide Mr. McCall from the
“We’ll seek to comply with the commission’s wishes and get the letter it