Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Did Margs wear illegal wraps vs. Cintron?
By Dan Rafael
We all know that Antonio Margarito was caught red-handed trying to enter his January 2009 welterweight title fight with Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in Los Angeles wearing illegal hand wraps -- whether he knew they were loaded or not.
He was caught in the dressing room because of Mosley's astute trainer, Naazim Richardson, who insisted that the gloves and wraps be checked.
Margarito, who got beaten down and knocked out by Mosley, later had his license revoked in California and didn't fight for 16 months because of the illegal wraps (which contained elements of plaster). He has stuck by his story ever since -- that his then trainer, Javier Capetillo, was responsible. Margarito has claimed repeatedly that he didn't know anything about the loaded wraps.
But with the discovery, it certainly cast doubts about the results of Margarito's other fights, especially the one before he faced Mosley. That was an 11th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto in July 2008. Because of the way Margarito disfigured Cotto's face late in a bout that Cotto had been dominating early on, many believe Margarito got away with wearing illegal wraps in that fight in Las Vegas.
Cotto has called out Margarito for it, referring to him as "a criminal" as they prepare for a hotly anticipated grudge rematch at New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET, $54.95).
But because we know Margarito tried to wear illegal wraps against Mosley, and if you believe that Margarito wore illegal wraps for the Cotto fight, it's fair to ask: What about Margarito's previous fights?
In his last fight before facing Cotto, in April 2008, Margarito was way ahead of Kermit Cintron on the scorecards before knocking him out in the sixth round to win a slice of the welterweight title.
Margarito also knocked out Cintron in the fifth round in an April 2005 title defense. Those were the first two losses of Cintron's career.
So does Cintron, who was stopped by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last Saturday night in a junior middleweight title challenge, believe Margarito wore illegal wraps in their fights?
"I honestly don't know," Cintron said. "I have no proof to show that he used plaster [in] my fights, but only he knows. I'm a clean fighter. You know I go in there as a clean fighter and I go in there to do my job, and that's to put up a performance and try to come out of there with victories. It sure made him look bad after he got caught.
"Was there a lot of questions in my mind about it? Yes, but I have no proof to prove that he did use plaster, and I believe that if you're caught once, what makes [anyone] think that you haven't done it before?"
Although Cintron wouldn't outright accuse Margarito of fighting dirty against him, he said he did notice that he and Cotto were both cut, and badly hurt in a fight for the first time in their careers, against Margarito.
"It's one of them things, like the only fighter that's ever hurt me and that's cut me has been Margarito," Cintron said. "Only fighter that I've seen hurt Cotto bad, where he gets cut bad, it was against Margarito. I mean, it's a weird situation that we both fought Margarito and we both ended up the same way -- busted up.
"And you just never know. I don't know what to say about it. Again, I just go in there as a clean fighter and I always prepare myself the right way, to be ready to fight and have a clean fight."