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Mosley's promoter calls for further probe of Margarito, trainer

March 27, 2009 |  5:25 pm

A day after The Times obtained the California Department of Justice lab report that showed calcium and sulfur -- two key elements of plaster -- were found adhered to a gauze pad inserted into the hand wrappings of boxer Antonio Margarito before his January welterweight title defense against Shane Mosley, Mosley's promoter, Richard Schaefer, has called for further investigation into the matter.

"It was obviously not an accident, they added something to the gauze, and I think this is potentially a criminal act," Schaefer said. "There's no excuse for this whatsoever. This should be dealt with the strongest possible legal consequence."

Before Margarito ever stepped in the Staples Center ring Jan. 24 to fight Mosley, Mosley's trainer, Nazim Richardson, objected to Margarito's hand wrappings in front of California State Athletic Commission inspectors and ultimately found Margarito trainer Javier Capetillo had inserted the hardened gauze pads, caked with a white substance, atop the knuckle areas of both of his fighter's hands. The inserts were taken out, secured for the lab inspection that was finalized March 19.

Last month, the state commission revoked the licenses of Margarito and Capetillo. They can re-apply next year, but Schaefer argues Capetillo's claim that the hardened gauze pads were discarded from his Montebello gym and accidentally ended up in both of Margarito's hand wraps "was clearly a lie."

"He lied to the commission, this guy should never be in a corner again," Schaefer said. "As for the fighter, I believe they need to do a further investigation about what he knew. Talk to other fighters. Would they know something was different in their hand wraps if something this hard was stuck in there?"

Schaefer raised a point from the license revocation hearing in which supervising deputy attorney general Karen Chappelle unsuccessfully attempted to introduce into evidence a photo of Margarito's handwraps following his 2008 upset of unbeaten Miguel Cotto that bore resemblance to the tainted gauze pads.

"Did he use these loaded gloves in a fight?" Schaefer asked. "I respect Margarito the fighter, but how can you respect him as a person? I ask if [a one-year license revocation] is enough? If he's a bad apple who knew about this, he should be suspended for life. They need to do a further investigation."

Chappelle said it would be up to the state athletic commission to recommend an additional investigation or sanction beyond the current license revocation. She said Margarito and Capetillo face a stiff challenge in regaining their licenses.

"No one in our office can remember anyone violating our rules in this way," Chappelle said. "It's pretty egregious."

Cotto and Margarito are both promoted by Top Rank's Bob Arum, who declined to elaborate about the report when contacted Thursday by The Times.

"If I'm the promoter of Margarito, I'd be careful what I said," Schaefer said. "You can't support this."

-- Lance Pugmire

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