Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank
By Rich Mancuso
Antonio Margarito was the usual pro boxing spectacle after his latest win over Ramon Alvarez, the younger brother of the middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. It was a 10-round split decision and of course, Margarito the former and controversial welterweight champ called out the champion.
It is the only way that Margarito conducts business, a fighter who was once suspended for putting plaster in his gloves that put Miguel Cotto in danger. Margarito was once retired and then felt it was time to get back in the ring and there are serious believers that the Mexican puncher can be a threat to Canelo.
So after his win Antonio Margarito did what he does best. He punched, got some points from the judges and got his win. He is, as they say, still a marketing guru and the name does draw attention after his two fights with Cotto.
But, Antonio Margarito will always be a disgrace to the sport. Cotto got his revenge a year later and Margarito paid for his mistake from that first fight. No athletic commission in the United States will license a Margarito fight, so in turn he takes his fight business to Mexico.
Rosarito Beach, Mexico, was the venue this time. He beat the younger Alvarez, but barely and the older brother was at ringside. Of course not taking the challenge seriously as Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are headed for a unification clash of the middleweight title at some point next year.
That is supposed to be a mega fight, one as huge as the disappointing Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. of last year and if everything goes to plan, boxing fans will get another mega fight that will be anticipated.
But, can we take Antonio Margarito seriously? And, does he deserve the recognition and attention to challenge Canelo Alvarez? Probably not, and the boxing world will not pay attention to a fighter who was exciting but should be banned from fighting after using his gloves as a lethal weapon against Miguel Cotto.
“I want big fights,” Margarito said in the ring. He mentioned Cotto again, Canelo and not a rematch with his younger brother Ramon. “I am ready for big fights, now I want his brother “Saul.”
Yes, this is Antonio Margarito being the promoter, A fighter who wants attention and can’t be serious about lacing up the gloves again with the elite. Boxing does not need to revisit his brutality and cheating to get a stoppage over Cotto in that first fight, and Miguel Cotto got his revenge by punishing Margarito in the second fight a few years later.
Margarito returned to the ring after sitting a year due to a suspension from using tainted hand wraps in a title fight with Shane Mosley and was denied reinstatement by the California State Athletic Commission. They were the governing body that imposed the suspension based on allegations and further investigation of the gloves, and wraps that Margarito used after he lost the WBA welterweight title to Shane Mosley in Los Angeles.
So with Nevada, also out of the picture, Texas granted Margarito another chance. Top Rank was looking to keep their champion Manny Pacquiao busy and after the suspension, Margarito got that fight and lost by unanimous decision in November of 2010.
There was a sentiment that Pacquiao would easily win that fight and of course, Margarito thought otherwise as he also continued to fight for his credibility“
“Everything is in the past and now I am in the present,” Margarito said before that fight. at the podium with an array of his Mexican supporters cheering. Then he said, “I want to thank Manny for taking this fight. It’s time to show everyone that I am still very good.”
And nothing else was said about one of the major mistakes made by a fighter, knowing that your hands are being wrapped the wrong way, or that something such as plaster is being put under the wraps. Margarito to this day, even as he and his handlers were caught red handed, continued to claim their innocence.
Those handlers, trainers and the corner people were handed a lifetime suspension in the states But boxing goes on, and so did Antonio Margarito. Boxing can be a mean and brutal sport and the injustice that Cotto was handed is a part of it, however it is a sport that revolves around the financial aspect and Antonio Margarito, unfortunately has always been a draw and in Mexico that means revenue.
Are we to accept Margarito again as a great fighter? Miguel Cotto never said his adversary was, and Canelo Alvarez has other plans that are more lucrative and worthwhile as a major superstar in this era.
So, enough of the Antonio Margarito drama and let him continue to believe that bigger fights are ahead, but don’t make put him in the ring as a serious contender!