Story & Photo By William Trillo
has past since Antonio Margarito and his trainer Javier
Capetillo had their licenses revoked by the California
State Athletic Commission. In the aftermath I still feel
the same as I did when I first heard Margarito got
busted with “tainted” hand wraps in the dressing room
before his upset loss to Shane Mosley. I’ve been trying
my best to process this bizarre turn of events but I
must be honest, it’s all still a bit of a blur for me.
After a career in relative obscurity Margarito began to
gain notoriety after his victory over Joshua Clottey and
the demolitions of Kermit Cintron. By the time he met
Miguel Cotto last year Margarito’s popularity was as
high as it had ever been and when he Ko’d the undefeated
Champ “The Tornado” launched himself into the
To celebrate his newly found fortune Margarito accepted
a fight with hometown rival Shane Mosley. The fight,
held in Los Angeles at The Staples Center was a sellout.
Over 20,000 fans bought tickets to the show, the
majority of them were Tornado Watchers. Margarito had
hit an all time high and the sky was the limit. Thoughts
of a rematch with Cotto and a matchup to avenge his loss
to Paul Williams were waiting around the corner. All
Margarito had to do was get by the aged Shane Mosley.
Everything began to derail in the dressing room that
night as Nazim Richardson pointed out to the commission
that something was wrong with Margarito’s hand wraps.
Upon further inspection Richardson’s claim had merit and
a pair of “tainted” wrap were taken off Margarito’s
hands and collected as evidence. Apparently Javier
Capetillo inserted a couple of wet pads across Ton’y
knuckles that may or not be laced with plaster. Whatever
the case may be, wet wraps are illegal and Margarito was
caught red handed…so to speak.
Taking nothing away from Shane’s performance I am
convinced the turmoil in the dressing room weighed heavy
on Margarito and by the time he hit the ring his mental
focus was gone. Shane was as sharp as can be and
Margarito looked as bad as I have ever seen, he got lame
basted and lost his title in front of 20,000 of his
That wasn’t the worst of it. Word of “Tony’s” illegal
wraps was making the rounds and all of a sudden
everything Margarito had accomplished in his career was
Having been privy to the Margarito Camp over the past
few years I can say that when it came to a no nonsense
and hard working fighter, Antonio Margarito was without
compare. His old school style training may not have been
state of the art but it kept “Tony” fighting as a true
Welterweight for the past 14 years. There are few who
have remained the same weight for the bulk of their
careers. To me that’s a testament to Margarito’s work
Margarito is also a people’s Champion and he always has
been. His staying at the doorsteps of the commission
office moments after his license was revoked so he could
sign autographs for the kids who came to see him speaks
volumes. Most athletes won’t hang around to sign
autographs on a good day. Let alone the worst day of
And then I have to attempt to process the hand wrap
situation and his suspension and revocation of his
license to fight.
In all honesty I can’t.
I’ve always felt I was a pretty good judge of character
and nothing Margarito did led me to believe he could
commit such heinous act.
But the fact of the matter is the Commission deemed both
he and Capetillo responsible and both men are now
suffering the consequences. Word is Margarito may look
to fight out of the country until his license is
reinstated but during a conference call on Wednesday
Miguel Cotto said he feels Margarito should not be
allowed to fight at all and he doesn’t plan on a rematch
until such time as Tony is reinstated. I expect most
fighters may follow suit.
If history tells us anything it’s the fact that we are a
very forgiving people and if Margarito should serve out
his sentence and be reinstated he will be cautiously
welcomed back. Over time he might even get himself back
into title contention. The question is will he be able
to get all the way back to the superstar status he
gained at the end of 2008?
I hate to say it but that will be a difficult if not
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