ALBANY, N.Y. - The first black woman to be licensed as a boxing judge in New York has been nominated to be a member of the state's athletic commission.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer nominated Melvina Lathan to the three-member commission yesterday that previously included boxing great Floyd Paterson and former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Lathan, originally from Philadelphia, was the judge of more than 235 bouts, including 82 world title matches. She is also licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri and for the Pequot and Mohegan Indian nations.

She wouldn't be paid for her position with the commission, which regulates sporting events in New York.

She is scheduled to enter the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in November, a Spitzer spokesman said. She also was part of a consulting team that helped develop the Muhammad Ali Center in the former champion's hometown of Louisville, Ky.

Lathan is also an artist, photo-grapher, costume and sound designer who has had her work on display in the Smithsonian Institute and several art galleries.

The commission is headed by chairman Ron Stevens, who was appointed by former Gov. George Pataki. Stevens is paid $100,000 a year.

The New York state senate will have to confirm Lathan's nomination. *