posted by Large
(Be sure to check out Baggiesboy’s piece on tomorrow’s U.S./Mexico soccer match below this post. I had to bury him due to the breaking Margo situation, but as always he brought his A-game to the pitch. -L)
As I’m sure you guys have read or heard by now, Tony Margarito and his trainer Javier Capetillo both had their licenses revoked by the California State Athletic Commission after a hearing today into the handwraps controversy that emerged prior to Margarito’s fight with Shane Mosley on January 24th.
Our crack commenter Howard in NYC, who I gather doubles in his non-Masian existence as a lawyer, pointed out last week that because Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson, had removed the suspiciously hard pads from Margarito’s dressing room and taken them to Mosley’s, there would be chain of custody issues raised by Margarito’s defense team, and indeed there were.
But apparently, nobody was biting on that line. Margarito’s trainer, Capetillo, also tried to take the entire blame upon himself, saying that he himself was responsible for the hard pieces being inside the fighter’s wraps and that Margarito had no knowledge of the matter whatsoever. As for what he’d done, Capetillo said it was “an innocent mistake.”
Nobody swallowed that, either. A year of license suspensions was voted by the Commission for both men to the tune of 7 yeas and zero nays. Down goes Margo.
Perhaps the most stunning revelation of the day, however, had no influence on the final judgment, though it is certain to lead to mass speculation and perhaps further punitive action against Margarito and Capetillo. During the proceedings, a deputy attorney general for the prosecution, Karen Chapelle, tried to introduce a claim that Margarito had worn similar pads under his gloves for the Cotto fight last July. The Commission refused to hear it, saying that it was irrelevant to the question of what happened at the Staples Center prior to the bout with Mosley.
Which makes sense, because this is, after all, the California State Athletic Commission ruling on a matter that occurred in its jurisdiction. The Cotto fight did not occur in its jurisdiction, so it has no bearing on this particular matter.
But it does have bearing on the question at large, enormous bearing. I imagine that many of you out there will think that a year suspension is a little light (the suspension will be upheld by all fifty states, though fighting in Mexico likely will be an option for Margarito), but in that Margarito never actually hit Mosley with those loaded wraps, and in that this whole affair is such a black eye both for the Commission and for the sport, I admit that I was worried that he would get off even easier than a year. Given the stickiness of the situation and its high profile in the boxing world, a year struck me as the harshest the ruling was going to be.
But what about this Cotto business today? In her attempt to open up the matter of the Cotto fight, did Karen Chapelle have concrete evidence in her pocket that Margarito’s wraps were loaded when he faced Cotto in the ring last July? Is it concrete enough for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to hold a hearing on the matter?
Because if it is, that is a different kettle of fish altogether. As we all vividly recall, Margarito did indeed hit Cotto that night, hit him about three hundred times and busted him up but good. If his wraps were loaded while he was doing it and someone is holding proof, the shit is going to hit the fan f’real. Based on today’s events alone, I have to imagine that Cotto’s people will immediately demand a hearing on the issue by the Nevada Commission. And if Margarito and Capetillo are found guilty at that hearing, a lifetime ban for both men certainly would be on the table. I hate to have to write this – it makes me a little sick to my stomach, to be honest – but at that point, jail time would be on the table.