Cotto vs. Margarito II: Deal with the Devil!

Miguel CottoBy P.H. Burbridge "You know where you are, Robert Johnson? You are standing in the middle of the crossroads. This is not just any crossroads. I put this "X" here for a reason, and I been waiting on you." (A "vision", as told by Henry Goodman).

Robert Johnson regarded by many as the greatest bluesman of all time and who according to legend famously sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a musical endowment that the world had never seen would probably smile at Antonio Margarito’s exploits.

Margarito it would seem has made his very own deal with the devil and has reaped the benefits of a life and career built possibly on deception.

Saturday, December 3rd the Miguel Cotto – Antonio Margarito rematch is taking place 3 years after their first infamous meeting in July of 2008. That fact reaffirms for many that boxing is still as dirty as ever. Some purists are having a difficult time understanding how a fighter caught red handed committing boxing’s original sin could even be allowed back into a professional prize ring let alone be awarded back to back title fights. All you can say is “it’s good to have connections”…. Now, we know why Bob Arum takes such an exorbitant % right off the top. The man had his license revoked in California so they bring him back in Mexico where apparently you can kill a small family in Iowa and still be licensed to fight.

And then somehow after beating a fighter who no one had ever heard of or since Roberto Garcia, Bob Arum had this “vision” that a fight between Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao, the #1 guy in the sport was a “must see” for fight fans! Hell, it was a moral mandate! While this crooked little scheme was underway the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) told Margarito to go to hell and maintained his indefinite suspension. But, their ruling was of no real consequence. Bob Arum took care of it with one phone call to Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys who at the time was eager to show off his new billion dollar stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Texas commission didn’t even hold a hearing to review the California State Athletic Commission’s case. The event was clearly going to bring a boost to the local economy and that’s all that mattered. Pacquiao could have signed to fight Charles Manson and the Texas commission would have rubber stamped it especially since one of the richest Texans’s was directly connected to the event. Ethics-wise maybe Texas still IS a part of Mexico!?!

Well, at least the CSAC tried….No one else did.

Leading in to the Pacquiao fight obviously Margarito was unranked at ANY weight yet apparently he still DESERVED a championship fight. The WBC knocked over tables to sanction the bout so they could grab the inflated sanctioning fee sure to accompany a Manny Pacquiao extravaganza. As far as Jose Sulaiman is concerned rankings are only to be cited when they support the money agenda NOT when they get in the way. The WBC said “yes” to a catch weight of 150 lbs for two fighters that weren’t even ranked by them at Jr. Middle weight for their vacant title! (Don’t even ask…) Margarito’s good fortune however didn’t stop there….Somehow after a clear one sided beating delivered by Manny, Tony once again was rewarded this time with a #4 ranking. NOT by the WBC but by those other titans of sportsmanship and ethics, the WBA. I can’t even keep up with all the interim / super galaxy warrior titles that the WBA hands out but apparently getting your head handed to you and nearly having your career ended is enough for the boy’s in the front office to say “THAT’S OUR #4 GUY RIGHT THERE!”……If it wasn’t so downright insulting we could all share a good laugh over it.

The Sanctioning bodies are only mildly concerned in creating the illusion of legitimacy.

As a fan base we’ve become so desensitized to the business as usual, run of the mill corruption of professional boxing that collectively we say “F@#* IT!”. We feel powerless to do anything about it so we keep our mouths shut, roll our eyes and order what’s on the menu. We ALL do it…. We know its wrong but we’re also junkies who need a fix and like any other addiction there’s a stiff penalty to be paid. Make no mistake about it our apathy is rewarding the cheats and the pimps who infest our sport but more troubling it guarantees a continuum of the status quo.

There is no good way to portray Antonio Margarito. The man’s a confirmed cheat. That’s an uncontroversial fact. He deserves our scorn and should he beat Miguel Cotto to pick up a world title those calling him a “champion” will also deserve our scorn and ridicule. His story is not one of redemption but one of corruption that makes the Luis Resto / Panama Lewis chapter in our sports history seem like a Walt Disney fairy tale. How do you cheat and lie without incurring any adverse effect to your career…??

Perhaps Bob Arum could shed some light for us!?!

Yes, the same Bob Arum who with a straight face had the nerve to call for a life time ban of Lewis and Resto and who speaks with a certain self righteous indignation whenever the Billy Collins Jr tragedy is brought up. Yes, the “honorable” Bob Arum!! His moral compus is a calculator!

It must be a joke or otherwise how could you explain it…!?!

• Margarito is caught red handed prior to the Mosley fight with a solid insert that was wet and later found to contain a “plaster like substance” on his right hand wrap. He feigns ignorance.

This is perhaps the dumbest defense anyone has ever put forth and any NOVICE fighter / weekend warrior / middle aged tough guy at the local boxing gym knows it pure nonsense. Getting your hands wrapped is an interactive experience and MOST fighters are very particular in how they want it done just like they are about how the gloves fit. Trust me you’d know if someone was putting something “wet” on your damn wraps.

• Margarito to this day still puts 100% of the blame on his trainer / FATHER figure Javier Capetillo (Sorry, Dad) even as the CSAC ruled….

“In said Decision, the Commission (CSAC) found Mr. Margarito's claims that he was unaware of the foreign and illegal substance found in his fist wraps and that it was entirely the fault of his trainer, to not be credible.”

YET…..YET, Margarito is raking in another multi million dollar payday! My personal opinion is that he and Capetillo used loaded gloves in previous fights. That’s my own personal belief. Can I prove it? No, of course not but you go back and watch the Pacquiao fight. Even when Margarito did manage to land a solid shot on Pacquiao his punching power was not reflective of a guy who was more Super Middleweight than Jr. Middleweight at the time. Remember he walked into the ring that night hovering around the 170 lb range yet the punching power he displayed in fights versus Williams, Cintron and Cotto was missing in action….What do YOU think the difference was!?!?

Many folk’s believe that the glove loading tactic became routine for those guys so much so that the fact they even tried it in the Mosley fight just proves their stupidity and arrogance. After all that fight was supposed to be a gift from Bob Arum. It was a multi million dollar push over disguised as an easy fight meant to keep the recently crowned WBA welter weight champ and reigning “most avoided fighter in the sport” busy. Nothing more… Margarito barely saw fit to train for the fight and most people genuinely thought he might seriously hurt poor old Shane. So, if you’re going to load up for a push over what are you going to do when you face the top guy in the division (Cotto)?!?

We don’t need to recount what went down against Mosley but for some strange reason during that public colonoscopy Margarito’s arm punches failed to register or have an impact similar to his fight with Pacquiao fight. In fact, after the bout Shane didn’t even look like he had been in a fight. Seven rounds into the Cotto fight Margarito was punching like a prime Julio Cesar Chavez mugging Edwin Rosario or at least that’s what Cotto’s face said. Miguel came out of that fight looking like he slipped on a banana peel at the top of Mt. Everest. For those of you who want to say “yeah, but he looked bad after the Pacquiao fight too!” Pacquiao IS a PUNCHER with excellent form NOT an arm puncher plus he landed 69 more shots versus Cotto. SIXTY NINE!


I’m personally not willing to give Margarito the benefit of the doubt but if you are then that’s your choice I just think it’s a mistake. Some rules should never be broken in our sport and if they are they should result in an appropriate and just punishment. Do you think Margarito got that or just a little vacation…?

Now, if the boxing God’s had a hand in the rematch Cotto would deal out a long torturous beating culminating in a late round KO! But, we’re probably not going to get that.

I do think (HOPE) we’re going to see Miguel Cotto outbox Margarito in similar fashion as the Ricardo Mayorga bout but minus the late round TKO.

Tony Margarito’s been filling his pockets with the dirty money of his dastardly deeds for years now and up until recently the joke has always been on US.

IF Cotto can finally exorcise his demons and walk away with his title Saturday night it will be his turn to deliver a joke to Margarito!

“Knock, Knock…..”

“Quién es...?”


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(Please feel free to contact P.H. Burbridge via email at with any comments or feedback.)

Article posted on 03.12.2011

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