Question of the day: Should Texas sanction Antonio Margarito after California turned him down? [Updated]
Reporters from around Tribune Co. tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they're wrong. Check back throughout the day for updates.
Steve Svekis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Hands of Stone” was Roberto Duran’s nickname, but Antonio Margarito was trying to make it his reality in his fight last year against Shane Mosely.
Even if one bought Margarito’s contention that he didn’t know a member of his team had wrapped his hands with plaster inserts -- and that’s a hard sell -- he was the head of his team. He was responsible.
Thankfully, officials confiscated the inserts before the fight, but Margarito must pay the price for apparently trying to make his lethal-weapon hands even more dangerous.
Any state boxing official considering licensing Margarito should consider the RealSports piece on HBO this week linking head injuries to Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The penalty California’s boxing commission handed down was fair, and other states should follow suit and tell Margarito, “No mas.”
[Updated at 10:32 a.m.
Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times
Should Texas sanction Antonio Margarito after California turned him down?
The California State Athletic Commission clearly felt the pressure to continue its hard line against Antonio Margarito, as a state attorney reinforced the point that the boxing world was watching this case for precedent's sake.
The commission’s thinking was you can't reward a guy who was capable of seriously injuring a fighter in a world-title bout with an even richer payday less than two years later.
However, Texas doesn't have such concerns. And with a possible multimillion-dollar event with Margarito matched against Manny Pacquiao that could draw 70,000 to Cowboys Stadium on Nov. 13, expect the Tijuana Tornado to get a license.
At this hour, there is no smoking gun proving Margarito knew about the plaster atop both of his knuckles before he was caught before a welterweight title bout against Shane Mosley last year, which cost him his boxing license. But without that proof, the argument becomes, "Has a sufficient amount of disciplinary time off passed?"
The answer, as skeptical as most neutral boxing observers are, is yes. So expect Margarito to step into the ring in Texas in November.]
[Updated at 2:03 p.m.
Tim Stephens, Orlando Sentinel
No, but not for the reason you think.
Of course Texas will license Antonio Margarito for a super-bout against Manny Pacquiao. Why? Because boxing needs a little controversy and it needs a big fight. And because there’s clearly some big bucks to be made off a fight that should fill Cowboys Stadium.
But it shouldn’t. And no, not because of any controversy regarding Margarito’s infamous plaster-covered hand wraps, caught before a title fight against Shane Mosley. Margarito has served his punishment for that, even if you don’t believe his contention that he didn’t know about the inserts.
This fight shouldn’t happen because it gets in the way of the real fight everyone wants to see: Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. As long as either of those two great champions have other lucrative options, they can continue to avoid each other.
Margarito versus Pacquiao has intrigue. It has the makings of a good fight. But it’s not an undefeated champion versus a seven-times-in-seven-weight-classes champion.
It’s not the fight boxing should give its fans.]
Photo: Antonio Margarito. Credit: Will Hart / HBO