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TV Network Rubs Out Boxer's Sponsorship Deal

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Showtime Tries To Erase Ad Tattoo on Ricardo Mayorga's Back

AUGUST 15, 2005, CHICAGO, IL -- Minutes before Ricardo Mayorga stepped into the squared circle to fight and eventually beat Michelle Piccirillo for the vacant WBC super welterweight championship, representatives of the Showtime network that were broadcasting the fight used a marker to black out the words "" that were henna-tattooed on the fighter's back. is the online casino famous in part for its groundbreaking practice of temporarily tattooing the backs of boxers as part of sponsorship deals with the athletes, who often do not make very much money despite the incredible punishment they endure.

Mayorga agreed to wear the casino's tattoo for his title fight. Right before the fighter was to make his walk towards the ring however, Showtime reps entered his dressing room and forced him to hide the ad tattoo, even though Don King and other promoters have no issues with boxers wearing this type of advertising.

Since they could not erase the henna tattoo, black non-toxic marker was used to black out the web address of his sponsor. Ironically, the black marker faded after a couple of sweaty rounds revealing clearly for the rest of the fight which went the distance.

The casino started their wildly successful tattoo ad campaign in September 2001, when they "backed" Bernard Hopkins during his classic match with Felix Trinidad. Since then, the casino has tattooed dozens of boxers, celebrities, and even animals.

The successful campaign hit a snag in 2002, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission tried to ban the ad tattoo in their state. A district court judge promptly overturned the decision however, stating that it was a violation of the boxers' first amendment rights. The tattoo has been making an impression worldwide ever since.

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Comments on this event
On August 31st, 2005 at 4:12 PM Ana Torres aka Goldengirl1985 said:

Cool I love boxing and it is great to see this site on the fighters. they have rights to my wheelchair for life and I 1000% support them all the time...............and this is a great figher....

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