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Cotto V Margarito II: Redemption

Antonio Margarito Miguel CottoBy Tom Graves: On July 26 of 2008, The unbeaten Puerto Rican WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto faced Tijuana’s Tornado, Antonio Margarito in a much anticipated bout.The outcome was a an eleventh round technical knockout victory for Margarito, which took Cotto’s WBA crown from him and placed the Mexican as The Ring magazine’s #1 ranked boxer in the welterweight division.

On his first defence of the title Margarito faced the aging hall of fame boxer Shane Mosley, On that evening according to bookies Mosley was a 4-1 underdog. The first shock of the night began with Mosley’s trainer, Naazim Richardson noticing that Margarito had a pasty white substance in his handwraps prior to the fight which raised major suspicion therefore forcing Margarito to have his hands re-wrapped, this substance was officially confirmed to be what is known as plaster of Paris, much like a rock-hard cast that is used for supporting and restructuring broken bones. A few weeks later during a investigation Magarito and his trainer Javier Capetillo were revoked of their licenses by the California State Athletic Commission for at least one year but on the night the bout was allowed to go on as scheduled. From round one Sugar Shane completely schooled Margarito, with far superior hand speed, impressive accuracy and a number of jaw crunching right crosses, this onslaught ended in the ninth round as the referee stepped in after what seemed a lifeless Margarito plummeted to the canvas a second time. The tampered handwraps controversy then raised suspicions that Margarito’s gloves were loaded for previous fights but most importantly the manner in how his mainly one sided victory over the former unbeaten Miguel Cotto happened.

In all reality it is more than likely that Margarito’s gloves were loaded for the bout against Cotto, if Margarito was caught using this method of cheating against Shane Mosley, a good fighter past his prime approaching 40 years old with 6 losses in his career and a professional record dating back to 1993, why wouldn’t the shamed Mexican do the same thing when boxing the unbeaten fearsome hard hitting, granite chinned young Puerto Rican Cotto.

Many people feel Margarito deserves no place in the sport he blatantly disgraced but Margarito returned to the ring beating Roberto Garcia by UD to win the vacant WBC International Light Middleweight title, it was supposedly announced on July 23rd, 2010 that Margarito would be put against Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight championship. This match-up is happening because the dream fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao was never arranged, personally I feel Margarito hasn’t earned the right to get a shot at such a prestigious crown and a fight against one of the pound for pound best and most popular boxers in the sport. Surely this bout suggests that a proven cheat who may well of used an unfair advantage more than once is handed such a privilege.

Instead I believe a fairer course of treatment would be to fight Miguel Cotto for the second time, the newly rejuvenated fighter he once “beat” who has got his career back on track by recently winning the WBA light middleweight title. This is a fight that Cotto deserves to get the chance to bury some demons by avenging his first loss and for Margarito to attempt to prove the handwrap controversy had nothing to do with the victory and showing the boxing world he is a genuine top contender. The rematch makes great financial as this set up would generate good box office takings and also makes marketing sense as controversial fights always tend to. The bout could be for Cotto’s new crown as it is a weight in which Margarito could easily fight at.

The best option would be for Pacquio to carry on chasing a fight with Mayweather or another top class fighter while Margarito and Cotto go head to head and battle to settle their personal trials and tribulations. The chance of this bout happening is another matter altogether, as we all know potential match ups of elite fighters that seem to make perfect sense tend to not happen in this industry, all I know is boxing as a sport deserves Cotto V Margarito II :Redemption.

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