Augie Sanchez was carried out on a stretcher the last time he fought.
That was on Dec. 7, 2001, in Indio, Calif., when John Michael Johnson knocked out "Kid Vegas" 31 seconds into their featherweight fight at the Fantasy Springs Casino. Now, more than seven years later and at age 31, Sanchez wants to make a comeback.
"I've loved the sport my whole life," said Sanchez, 28-3 with 25 knockouts. "It took awhile for me to get the hunger back."
His request for a license at first was denied by the Nevada Athletic Commission. But Sanchez submitted to a battery of tests by the commission's Medical Advisory Board in March and passed neurological tests.
Dr. Al Capanna recommended Sanchez be allowed to resume his career, and Tuesday the commission reluctantly granted him a one-fight license.
Commissioner John Bailey told Sanchez he is concerned about the risk of serious injury in a comeback fight and hoped Sanchez would reconsider his decision.
Executive director Keith Kizer said the commission will watch Sanchez closely.
"We'll take a good look at who he is fighting," Kizer said. "We want to make sure he's not in a mismatch."
Sanchez has been coaching fighters at Barry's Boxing since he left the ring and is married to Pat and Dawn Barry's daughter, Dawn. Pat Barry said he's confident his son-in-law is not endangering himself by fighting again.
"His enthusiasm is still there," Barry said. "He may need to step up his sparring, but Augie is in the gym every day. He's in great shape."
Sanchez said he'd like to return in November.
"I don't want to rush it," he said. "I just wanted to be able to make my own decision. If the medical board had found anything, I wouldn't have even considered coming back."
• MCCALL CLEARED -- Former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall also was approved to fight again and will appear on Crown Boxing's May 22 card with his son, Elijah.
"I'm 44, and I'm looking to do what George Foreman did at 45," McCall told the commission.
McCall, 51-9 with 36 knockouts, last fought Oct. 19, 2007, when he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Juan Carlos Gomez.
• PACQUIAO-HATTON OFFICIALS -- Kenny Bayless will referee the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton junior welterweight fight May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden.
The judges will be C.J. Ross and Glenn Trowbridge of Las Vegas and Michael Pernick of Florida.
• GIANTS TO HONOR PAC-MAN -- Pacquiao will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Giants game in San Francisco this week.
The Pac-Man will be honored Tuesday at AT&T Park on Filipino Night. The Bay Area has a large Filipino population, and 10,000 of them are expected to attend the game against the San Diego Padres.
A limited-edition Pacquiao bobblehead doll will be given out. The doll-sized Pacquiao is depicted wearing a Giants jersey with a title belt around his waist.
Last year, before his lightweight title fight with Pacquiao, Chicago native David Diaz threw out the first pitch at a Cubs home game.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.