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Margarito's hand wraps contained plaster elements, state Department of Justice says

March 26, 2009 |  3:09 pm

The hand wrappings confiscated from former world welterweight champion Antonio Margarito minutes before his scheduled title defense against Shane Mosley in January contained calcium and sulfur, two of the primary elements of plaster of Paris, a state Department of Justice laboratory reported in documents obtained by The Times today.

Hardened gauze pads that were inserted inside the wrappings around Margarito's knuckle area were seized Jan. 24 after Mosley's trainer Nazim Richardson objected to their use.

Margarito proceeded to lose his title in a ninth-round technical knockout by Pomona's Mosley, and the California State Athletic Commission subsequently revoked the licenses of the Tijuana fighter and his trainer, Javier Capetillo, and the pair will likely not be allowed to fight in the U.S. until next year.

A Department of Justice senior criminalist who inspected the wrappings under stereomicroscope and X-ray flourescence spectrometer reported calcium and sulfur were discovered, noting the elements make plaster of Paris with the addition of oxygen. The report was dated March 19. "The commission's decision appears to be supported by that report," said Karen Chappelle, the state supervising deputy attorney general for licensing who urged the California commission to revoke the fighter and trainer's licenses. "The only things that are allowed in hand wraps are gauze and tape and those items aren't gauze and tape."

Chappelle said Margarito and Capetillo have yet to appeal their revocations, although Margarito promoter Bob Arum has said he'd like the boxer to return to the ring in Mexico later this year.

Arum had no immediate response to the findings, saying, "I'd have to see [the report]."

-- Lance Pugmire

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