Bob Arum talks: Margarito 'knows he has to' cut trainer
I just had an encompassing telephone conversation with boxer Antonio Margarito's promoter Bob Arum, who remains as defiant as he was two days ago when the California State Athletic Commission revoked the licenses of Margarito and his longtime trainer Javier Capetillo for trying to insert hardened gauze pads inside the boxer's hand wraps before his losing title defense against Shane Mosley last month.
Arum acknowledged that Capetillo's CSAC hearing claim that he "accidentally" tried to put the hardened pads (which appeared to be caked with a grout or plaster-like substance) into both of Margarito's gloves was devastating to the trainer's future in the sport.
Asked whether Margarito will split with Capetillo before he fights again, Arum said, "He knows he has to do that."
Arum's point is that Margarito didn't know what was in his hand wraps and shouldn't be punished for it. He compares the incident to one in 2006, when Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s uncle and trainer Roger entered the ring during Floyd's fight with Zab Judah and started a melee. Mayweather, the fighter, was not punished by Nevada, but his uncle was.
"This is not the law," Arum wrote in a statement, urging Margarito to appeal the revocation to a state court for reversal.
He also maintains Margarito will fight in Mexico "in June or July," possibly in his hometown, Tijuana, if Arum's Latin Fury card there next month headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is a success. Mexico City's Azteca Stadium is another possible destination.
Arum said he was buoyed by a statement by World Boxing Council President Jose Sulaiman, who told an Internet boxing publication that Margarito should "not be signaled as guilty, but the trainer should."
"[Sulaiman] is getting all the commissioners in Mexico to say this is an outrage, that you don't punish anybody if they haven't done something wrong," Arum said. "We'll definitely do a fight in Mexico. The Mexicans are up in arms over this [ruling]."
Arum reacted strongly when told California Commissioner Dr. Christopher Giza said he'd frown upon Margarito fighting again before a decision on a license re-application can be made next year. "How dare him!" Arum barked.
Meanwhile, Arum has a pay-per-view doubleheader coming next week with middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik fighting in his hometown, Youngstown, Ohio, and Miguel Cotto fighting Michael Jennings in New York. He said a Cotto-Margarito rematch (Margarito won by 11th-round TKO in July) won't take place now as scheduled on June 13, because Cotto-Mosley (on the same date, in New York) now seems more attractive.
Arum said he'll have a long talk discussing that bout with Mosley's promoter, Richard Schaefer, when they travel to England early next month to start promoting the May 2 Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton bout.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Boxing promoter Bob Arum speaks at a news conference in December, after Manny Pacquiao beat Oscar De La Hoya. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images