'Call Em Out Fridays': Should Antonio Margarito be blacklisted?

By Vivek Wallace: Despite the rise in talent and the recent increase in high level competition, it seems the world of boxing can't get away from the type of headlines that often tear away at the very core of the sport itself. The news of Oscar De La Hoya's recent retirement set the airwaves ablaze only a few days ago, however, today, the hot topic at the tip of tongues all around the sport is the the fact that recently suspended Mexican ironman Antonio Margarito is in the process of appealing what most find to be a perfectly valid suspension, and efforts are underway to showcase him again regardless of the outcome of the appeal. The two contrasting sides of this debate leave little room for residents of the middle ground with one contingent appealing for leniency, while the other openly seek absolute banishment. At the center of the controversy is a man who was able to rise above a poverty stricken past, only to find that it's the present which haunts him as he faces the possibility of never taking part in a meaningful fight again..

Ever since the incident which took place on the evening of January 24th, in Los Angeles, California, the story has continued to take many turns, most for the worst. On February 10, the California State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to suspend the licenses of Margarito and cornerman Javier Capetillo. Capetillo would later respond by saying that he "grabbed the wrong work pads out of his bag" and that it was a "mistake". The intriguing thing on that front is that one would think Margarito would be very disturbed about this "mistake" which has apparently stripped him of his ability to earn and provide for his family. Oddly enough, there have been no such confrontations amidst the allegations, and no retaliatory legal actions to follow. Common sense tells us that a man who has been fighting for 15 years would be fully aware of what his gloves should feel like when his hands are completely wrapped. So, if I could play devils advocate here, Team Margarito wants us to believe that he was gonna go through that full fight punching a man senseless, and never realize how hard his gloves were? Ok, to make it interesting, lets assist him by pulling the adrenaline card. Taking it a step further, lets say that adrenaline finally subsided, and he gets back to the dressing room, removes the gloves and then learn that they were harder than normal; what I'd like to know is would his integrity have kicked in and led him to report it and speak up? I know, I know, ridiculous question, but that only highlights how ridiculous the alibi was as well. The moral of my story, had he not been caught, would we have ever heard about this? No, because it's only considered cheating when you get caught!

He hasn't turned in Capetillo's direction with any legal actions for potentially ending his career yet, and that speaks volumes about the true intent of team Margarito. To make things worst, promoter Bob Arum is set to test the waters even further. George Willis of the New York Post recently quoted Bob Arum as stating that "the report [rendered by the state] supports Margarito's position, but it doesn't support the states position". His comment was aimed at the fact that "calcium and sulfer are found in plaster of paris, but it's in alot of other substances as well". Arum then went on to say "if something is wrong, get the wrong doer, but not the guy who is innocent. You don't attribute what the other guy did to him. That's where (the CSAC) made a mistake." That's coming from his own promoter - the guy who signs his checks - yet there have been no retaliatory actions against that guy? That's quite mind boggling. Hit or miss, Bob Arum is currently gearing up to exploit those loopholes to get the decision overturned, and plans on crossing the border to put Margarito on a Mexico based fight card where he doesn't have to adhere to the regulations of U.S. commissions. That type of defiance has led many to wonder, considering the damage that could have been done and the penalties in which those found guilty of the same infraction of the past have received - (which includes jail time): If Arum and Margarito go around the regulations of the sport by utilizing a demographic that won't adhere to his current suspension, should he be denied by the U.S. and all other international boxing athletic commissions when trying to reapply? I have my opinion, Barrera, Cotto, and many others have theirs; the million dollar question now is what's yours?

(Silent prayer in honor of the late Joseph Cesaro....It's hard to imagine the loss of someone so right in a world so wrong...Physically you're gone, but your spirit lives on....May you rest in everlasting peace).

(Got questions or feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, follow more of his work at 8CountNews and The Examiner, or show some love at Facebook and Myspace).

Article posted on 17.04.2009

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