Margarito trying to plaster Mosley?
Officials found what one doctor described as plaster of Paris hidden in the wrapped hands of Antonio Margarito (above left at the weigh-in Friday) shortly before the welterweight champion's title defense against Shane Mosley (above right) on Saturday at the Staples Center, leading to accusations that Margarito may have been trying to cheat.
According to Judd Burstein, the attorney for Mosley, Margarito had wet pads in the wrapping. Mosley's doctor, Robert Olvera, likened the material to the type of plaster used to make casts.
"It gets hard and mobile," said Olvera, who said he scratched the pad and "flakes of plaster of Paris" came off.
Burstein said he seized the pad removed from the wrapping and another pad found in Margarito's dressing room. Both were placed in a sealed box that was given to Dean Lohuis of the California Boxing Commission for further study.
Burstein said representatives of both boxers "discussed this exact issue" at Friday's rules meeting "and they went ahead and violated it."
After the suspicious pads were removed from Margarito's dressing room, the boxer's hands were rewrapped and the fight went off on time. Because the violation was caught before Margarito stepped into the ring, Margarito's camp will likely be subject to little more than a disciplinary action if the substance is found to be illegal.
Nazzim Richardson, the trainer for Mosley, was the first to notice something unusual about Margarito's wrap job and asked officials to take the tape off. That's when the foreign substance was discovered, seized and placed in a box for investigation after the bout.
"That's a serious offense," an official with Golden Boy, Mosley's promoter, said. "That's cheating."
Mosley was informed of the discovery before the fight, Burstein said. According to the lawyer, Mosley said he took that as evidence that Margarito "was scared" going into the bout.
Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, Margarito's promoter, shrugged and said he was told only that "additional gauze" had been taken off his fighter's hand wraps.
-- Kevin Baxter and Lance Pugmire
Photo credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press