Antonio Margarito: Would He Have Gone In The Hall of Fame If Not For The “Plaster-Gate” Scandal?

By James Slater - Retirements are coming thick and fast in boxing right now. Just days after big stars and former world champions “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Ronald “Winky” Wright announced they were hanging up the gloves at the age of 40, comes the news that Mexican bad boy Antonio Margarito has decided to quit the sport at the age of 34..
“Tony,” also known as “The Tijuana Tornado,” said he realises his body is “breaking down” and that a hard, up and down career has made his retirement a necessary move. The question now is, how will Margarito be remembered?

Personally, had it not been for the infamous “Plaster-Gate,” or hand-wraps scandal, which rocked the boxing world in January of 2009 - when trainer Nazim Richardson checked Margarito’s gloves in the dressing room ahead of the fight with his warrior Shane Mosley and found a suspicious substance inside the Mexican’s wraps - I’d have voted Margarito into The Hall of Fame. But after what happened both pre and post-Mosley (a fight Margarito went on to lose), with fans the world over calling the former hero a cheater, Margarito has absolutely no chance of ever being inducted into The Hall.

It’s s a shame in a way, because Margarito was thought to be a great and honourable fighter. But the suspicion will now be there forever: did Margarito cheat in other, winning fights?

Consider some of Margarito’s big wins:

WTKO7 Sergio Gabriel Martinez, Feb. 2000. A stoppage win over the future world middleweight king and Pound-for-Pound star.

WTKO2 Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis, Feb. 2003. A quick stoppage win over the then 22-2-1 Lewis, in a fight that saw “Tony” make the second retention of his WBO welterweight belt.

WTKO5 Kermit Cintron, Apr. 2004. By now a two-time WBO welterweight ruler, Margarito utterly destroyed would-be star Cintron - as he would do again in a return that took place three years later.

WU12 Joshua Clottey, Dec. 2006. A good win from a somewhat sub par Margarito, over a future IBF welterweight boss.

WTKO11 Miguel Cotto, July, 2008. Margarito’s biggest win, yet at the same time his most questionable. Did Margarito use loaded wraps in this fight, as Cotto himself and a number of other people strongly suspect? We will never know.

Are the above wins enough to have given “Tony” a shot at getting into The Hall some five years from now? Maybe, but due to the 2009 scandal Margarito and his trainer became embroiled in, such glory, a respected place in boxing history, will never come.

Margarito, who also faced superstar Manny Pacquiao (LU12) and the gifted Paul Williams (LU12), retires with a 38-8(27). The teak-tough warrior was stopped just twice: by Mosley (TKO by 9) and, in a huge return clash, by Cotto (L RTD 10).

Article posted on 08.06.2012

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