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Antonio Margarito: It was only tape

January 29, 2009 |  9:40 am

Antonio Margarito

Former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, who was suspended along with trainer Javier Capetillo on Wednesday while the California State Athletic Commission investigates a "foreign substance" found in the boxer's hand wraps before Saturday's fight with Shane Mosley, told ESPN he had nothing illegal in his hands.

"What they removed was the tape," said Margarito, whose hands were rewrapped several times before he was allowed to put his gloves on. "When they started to wrap my hands, they were only using tape. And they had to remove it two or three times because it was overlapping and showing when it wasn't supposed to."

About an hour before the fight, which Mosley won with a ninth-round TKO, Mosley's trainer, Nazzim Richardson, stopped Margarito from putting on his gloves by telling officials he believed the taping was excessively thick. When the tape was removed, Richardson pointed out two pads inside one of the hand wraps that appeared laced and flecked with a substance that resembled plaster of Paris.

The state athletic commission seized the pads and on Wednesday ruled the foreign substance was suspicious enough to warrant further investigation. As a result, Margarito and Capetillo have been suspended until at least Feb. 10, when they have been ordered to appear at a hearing in Van Nuys. A longer suspension could put in doubt a potential rematch with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, whose only loss came to Margarito last July in Las Vegas.

-- Kevin Baxter and Lance Pugmire

Photo: Antonio Margarito is surrounded in the ring after losing to Shane Mosley by technical knockout in the ninth round of their welterweight title boxing match on Saturday. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press