Trainer Tony Morgan’s arrest on Tuesday evening for reportedly trying to sell methamphetamine to undercover police in Polk County, Florida, immediately brought into question whether his legal problems would have any impact on middleweight contender Willie Monroe Jr’s preparation for his fight against WBA Super world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael spoke with Banner Promotions boss Artie Pelullo, who spoke to Willie Monroe Wednesday evening.
“I spoke to Willie [on Wednesday] night, and he said all is fine with training,” Pelullo stated. “He’s in Florida in camp and he said it is his understanding that whatever is going on with Tony’s legal situation, it won’t interfere with him training Willie for the fight. I called [Wednesday night] to make sure because this is a big fight.”
Morgan 43, was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine over 28 grams, maintaining a vehicle for drug trafficking, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to Florida law, if an individual possesses 28 grams or more, but less than 200 grams of methamphetamine, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $100,000. However, Florida law also states that if an individual possesses 14 to 28 grams, the defendant shall be sentenced to a three-year minimum sentence. The law could work or against Morgan in this scenario.
Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor. Violators may face up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
According to the Tampa Tribune, detectives had arranged to meet Morgan in a public parking lot to purchase 10 pounces of meth worth $10,000, but he only arrived with four ounces, which was packaged in a plastic bag and inside a disposable cup with a lid. He was then arrested without incident and booked into the Polk County Jail.
It is unknown whether Morgan’s legal problems will have a severe impact on his fighter’s preparation. However, there is no doubt that there is a higher probability that the situation will negatively affect Willie Monroe’s training. If Morgan knows in the back of his mind that he is facing three to seven years in prison after this fight, is he going to train Monroe properly? My gut says no.
Gennady Golovkin has knocked out 19 consecutive opponents and the worst thing that could have happened to Monroe, happened. From a personal standpoint, I would have fired Tony Morgan. Now, it’s near impossible to avoid the media frenzy that is bound to follow. On April 8, Gennady Golovkin celebrated his 33rd birthday. On May 16, Golovkin looks to put the icing on the cake with his 20th consecutive knockout victory.