Antonio Margarito should not receive such a bad "wrap"
January 24th 2009 may not mean much to anyone but to Antonio Margarito it is a date that will forever be etched in his mind. Margarito would square off against Sugar Shane Mosley making the first defense of his WBA welterweight title that he had won 6 months prior in a sensational come from behind performance against previously unbeaten Puerto Rican, Miguel Cotto.
Mosley would stop Margarito in 9 brutal rounds to claim the title but it was what happened in the dressing room, before the fight, that will haunt Margarito untill his dying day.
Mosley’s trainer Nazeem Richardson was present as Margarito was having his hands wrapped and as the right hand of Margarito was finished, everything seemed to be fine with Richardson, and the commissioners who were present.
With the right hand prepared and the left now underway, Richardson asked them to stop and requested to see the knuckle pad that was already inserted on the right hand. At this point, the Californian State Commissioner said “no, the wrap has already been completed”.
After some back and forth, Margarito would put up his right hand saying “look, I’ve got nothing to hide. Look at it, take it off”.
At this point the commissioner instructed the trainer to cut the wrap open and remove the pad.
Now, the way I look at this is nobody in their right mind would have instructed their trainer to remove the wrap if they had something to hide, especially after the commissioner had previously said that they did not have to do so.
If you had been cheating, you’d have kept your mouth shut, right?
After looking into the actual hearings of this case it just gets better. When the commissioners were instructed to give evidence at the hearing they all testified one by one that Margarito was extremely co-operative, offered no resistance and did not give off the slightest indication that something was wrong or he had been caught doing something wrong.
When the actual wraps were inspected they were found to have trace elements of two ingredients that can be found in plaster of paris. This sounded damning, I must admit. Looking further into it though and the word “trace” comes to mind. When there are traces of something, that means there is not a whole lot, I welcome you all to look up the word “trace”. Whatever was found in the knuckle pad was microscopic and after doing yet more digging I discovered that the two elements they found which were sulfur and calcium, can also be found in many everyday household items and both can also be found in common hand cream.
These wraps were handled by 14 different people before they had been examined – In a court of law this case would have been dismissed and laughed out of court.
Another thing about how damaging the wraps were – Top Rank filed a brief stating the wraps were harmless and the CSAC did not at any point dispute this fact.
Antonio Margarito is quite clearly innocent of any wrong doing. People will always point to the Cotto fight and say “look at Cotto’s face”, but if you look at the end of the fight, you’ll see Antonio has his gloves removed in the ring and goes on to shake hands with a number of people including trainers, reporters, commissioners and even Cotto himself. Would someone with plaster wraps expose them and go on to shake hands with a number of people who could catch them out?
Antonio Margarito has always been a proud warrior in the ring, to me cheating would go against everything he stands for and embodies.