By James Slater – For a long time now, ever since it was revealed that Antonio Margarito attempted (or his trainer attempted) to use “loaded” gloves in his Jan. 2009 fight with “Sugar” Shane Mosley, fans have wondered aloud whether or not Margarito used illegal hand-wraps in previous fights and got away with it. Back when the Mexican had a reputation as a clean fighter, he scored the biggest win of his career by halting the then unbeaten Miguel Cotto. And ever since the whole gloves scandal broke, fans have asked whether or not “Tony’s” win was an aboveboard victory..
Did Margarito do what he did to Cotto without any pre-fight glove tampering having taken place?
Well, promoter Bob Arum, fully aware of how controversy sells and of how the fans continue to debate Margarito’s July 2008 stoppage win, is reported to be “mulling over” the idea of staging a rematch between the Puerto Rican and the Mexican.
According to ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael, Top Rank are looking at the idea of the two fighting a second fight next summer, at The Giants stadium, on the weekend of the huge Puerto Rican Day Parade. There is no doubt this will be a big fight and a big event if it goes down as planned. Of course, Margarito, at present still bruised from that terrific beating he took from Manny Pacquiao back on Nov. 13th, will need a lot longer yet before he can get back to anything like full-time training; and as to when he does actually fight again (as he surely will), it’s anyone’s guess how much the 32-year-old will have left.
Cotto also took a savaging from Pac-Man, in November of last year, but he was able to bounce back with a big win – halting the brave Yuri Foreman to annex the WBA 154-pound title back in June. Since that win Cotto has been out of action with injury, and he decided to sit out the remainder of the year instead of going ahead with his planned fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. That fight could still happen for Cotto, but it’s a good bet the 30-year-old will have more interest in the idea of his being able to extract revenge over the man who took away his unbeaten record.
By next June, Cotto will have been out of action for a full year, while Margarito will have had over seven months’ worth of “recovery time” from the Pacquiao beat down. Perhaps both guys will look to have a tune-up before taking each other on in the sure-to-be-hyped-up rematch, or maybe they will go straight into it. Up at 154-pounds, the natural fighting weight of both men right now, Margarito-Cotto II will divide the fans. Some, probably most, will root for “good guy” Cotto, while others will hope “bad guy” Margarito will be able to repeat his win of 2008. And Margarito did win back some of his fans with the recent gutsy display he put on against the reigning pound-for-pound king.
Still, Cotto is seen as a genuine hero, while Margarito will always be looked at as a villain in many eyes. As such, it will be the man out for revenge who gets the lion’s share of the fan support if and when the two clash for a second time next summer. As to who will win if Cotto and Margarito go to war again, it’s way to early to say. The fight will be a box office winner if it goes ahead though, that much is sure