Margarito’s Punishment Is Too Lenient.

According to ESPN,

The California State Athletic Commission revoked the licenses of former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito and trainer Javier Capetillo on Tuesday, banning them for at least one year for tampering with Margarito’s hand wraps before he was to face Shane Mosley on Jan. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Voting 7-0 on both motions for revocation, the panel found that they put a plaster-like substance on illegal pads inside Margarito’s hand wraps.

Prior to the fight, in which Margarito was knocked out in the ninth round, Mosley’s trainer, Naazim Richardson, had objected to the way Margarito’s left hand was wrapped. When the wrap was cut off, officials found a suspect bandage wrap inside the knuckle pad that would be placed over Margarito’s hands.

Richardson then insisted that the wrap on Margarito’s right hand be checked and another identical illegal pad was discovered. Margarito eventually had his hands rewrapped and went on to lose the fight.

The panel rejected Margarito’s plea of ignorance — he told the panel that he just held up his hands to be wrapped — and Capetillo’s insistence that he had simply made a mistake during a hearing that lasted more than five hours in Van Nuys.

Dan Raphael, writing for ESPN.com

What a shame.

What a shame that Margarito’s license was only revoked for one year.

Think of the damage that Margarito has done to other fighters. Not just the injuries and pain he may have inflicted with his artificially fortified punches (depending on how long and how frequently he was using these illegal wraps), but the damage he caused to their careers by defeating them. This is no small thing when you consider that Miguel Cotto was considered one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world before Margarito turned him into such an incapacitated mess that his corner threw in the towel in the eleventh round of their July 26 championship bout.  Cotto didn’t just lose his undefeated status and his WBA world welterweight title, he lost fans and earning power and quite a bit of blood as well.

Who knows how long this has been going on?  Naturally Margarito claims to have had no knowledge of it ever happening before, and his trainer Javier Capetillo claims that this instance was only an unfortunate accident.  But the the cynic (in boxing that would be the realist) says that this has probably been a long-term strategy for Margarito and Capetillo.  Capetillo is a professional, working the corner for a world-famous world champion boxer, so it seems implausible that he would be so inattentive as not even to notice that he had slipped an hardened pad into his fighter’s handwraps.  And that Margarito would be so disinterested as not to notice that his wraps were being prepared illegally is almost as difficult to believe.

Unless one of those two decides to tell the truth, and in doing so to snitch on his fellow conspirator, we’ll probably never know how many people have been hurt and how many careers have been compromised by their selfish and unethical actions.

One morsel of good news is that due to reciprocity, US states that have boxing commissions can be expected to honor the license revocation handed down in California.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that measure will be honored just across the California border in Tijuana, where the mayor has offered Margarito a hometown hero’s welcome and has offered his moral (if not practical) support to local shows featuring Margarito.  Therein lies a possible explanation for the relative leniency being shown by the California State Athletic Commission – no matter what they do, they can’t keep Margarito from fighting in Mexico or Europe.

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