Margarito doesn't deserve boxing 'purgatory,' promoter and lawyer say
In advance of Antonio Margarito's comeback bout with Texas' Roberto Garcia on May 8 in Mexico, his attorney and promoter conducted a conference call with reporters Monday to defend the former world welterweight champion who had stained knuckle pads confiscated from his hand wraps minutes before he fought and lost to Shane Mosley in January 2009 at Staples Center.
Margarito attorney Daniel Petrocelli railed against the decision by the California State Athletic Commission to revoke the licenses of Margarito and his now-former trainer Javier Capetillo, who explained at the commission hearing last year that he must have accidentally placed the inserts atop both of Margarito's hand wraps.
A later Department of Justice test found the hardened inserts, first pointed out by Mosley's trainer Naazim Richardson, found they contained the basic elements of plaster, although Petrocelli cautioned Monday that calcium and sulfur can also be found "in hand creams."
Clearly, this is an attempt to massage the situation.
The national Assn. of Boxing Commissions advised earlier this year that it believed a discussed March bout in Texas was too soon for Margarito to return to fighting in the U.S. California officials also advised Texas not to license Margarito.
But Margarito's promoter, Bob Arum, said "his next fight will be in the U.S.," and will possibly occur in Cowboys Stadium during the summer if Texas opts to forgive. Arum has said he'd like to then give Margarito a shot at Manny Pacquiao later this year if talks to stage a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Pacquiao bout fail.
Asked last month about Margarito's standing, Richardson said he didn't approve of a comeback by the "Tijuana Tornado," who now has a new trainer, Robert Garcia, and maintains he had "no complicity, no knowledge, no participation" in the hand wraps being loaded, according to his attorney.
"Let me ask you this," Richardson said. "If a man pointed a gun at your sister, fired the gun and missed, would you want that man back on the street? I wouldn't trust him."
Petrocelli said it was important to note that Capetillo was an independent contractor, and assessed it was "going too far" to hold Margarito accountable for the tainted inserts. The attorney, addressing speculation, including accusations by Margarito's beaten 2008 opponent Miguel Cotto, said Margarito never entered a ring "in one round" with anything irregular inside his gloves.
"Tony recognizes the seriousness of this, there's no way he's suggesting that this is anything but reprehensible," Petrocelli said. "... He wants to clear his name."
Said Arum: "People want to sentence this guy to purgatory, and that's just shameful and sad."
-- Lance Pugmire