For the first time since he was knocked out in the 12th round by Shane Mosley in 2008, boxer Ricardo Mayorga will step back into the ring Friday. In a card set by Don King, Mayorga will take on Michael Walker at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
At this point in his career the 37-year-old Mayorga, who is a national hero in his native Nicaragua, is perhaps better known for his regular cigarette habit - while training - than his rapidly deteriorating boxing skills.
But thanks to a recent Wikileaks release of U.S. intelligence documents, we now know Mayorga’s reputation to the U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua was quite different than that of a boxer best known for his unorthodox training habits.
In a series of cables released one week ago titled, “NICARAGUA’S MOST WANTED PART I: THE CRIMES OF (DICTATOR) DANIEL ORTEGA AND HIS FAMILY,” Mayorga is mentioned in an unspeakable context.
Text of the cable:
In September 2004, boxer Ricardo Mayorga allegedly raped a young woman in a Managua hotel. Sensing an opportunity to blackmail Mayorga, Ortega and the FSLN agreed to protect the boxer in the courts if he would give the party a large portion of his international boxing winnings and “advertise” for Daniel in public.
Mayorga agreed, and an FSLN judge found him not guilty in December. Much of Mayorga’s winnings now reportedly go to Ortega, and when Mayorga fought in Chicago in August 2005, he dedicated the fight to Daniel, wore the FSLN colors, and flashed the number of the FSLN slot on the Nicaraguan electoral ballot (”casilla”) to the international media.
¶10. (SBU) Sources: media accounts of Mayorga,s arrest, trial, his public “pro-Daniel” comments and his August 2005 fight, private testimony offered by lawyers involved in the case, testimony of the rape victim.
From DiarioLibre.com on August 12, 2005:
Former world boxing champion, Ricardo Mayorga, he dedicates his fight Saturday in Chicago when Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega, local media reported. “I want people to know that policy is not simply a friendship between the commander Ortega and me,” Mayorga said in Chicago to an envoy of the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa.
Mayorga said it will raise the ring with red and black colors of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), headed by Ortega, when he faces world title for the weights super welterweight title against Italian Michele Piccirillo.
Nine months earlier, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reported of Mayorga’s trial for rape:
Former welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga was found not guilty of rape after a closed-door trial that ended Tuesday.
Judge Julio Cesar Areas cleared Mayorga after a 17-hour hearing.
A woman accused Mayorga of raping her at a Managua hotel in September. He acknowledged having sex with her but said it was consensual.
Mayorga was arraigned shortly before his Oct. 2 loss to Felix Trinidad in a middleweight bout.
When Mayorga said, “I want people to know that policy is not simply a friendship between the commander Ortega and me,” truer words - allegedly - were never spoken.
Follow Brooks on Twitter for real-time updates.