By Matt Stein: It seems like boxing fans will never forgive Antonio Margarito (38-6, 27 KO’s) for the hand wrap incident before his fight against Shane Mosley last year in January. At that time, a plaster-like substance was found on Margarito’s hand wraps immediately before his fight against Mosley. After the hand wraps were removed and a set of substitute non-plaster containing hand wraps were put on Margarito’s hands, he went out and was stopped in the 9th round by Mosley. A week later, Margarito had his boxing license revoked for one year by the California Athletic Commission.
Margarito has now done more than a year of the suspension, and yet he still doesn’t have his boxing license and many fans dislike him intensely. My question is where is the compassion among fans? Is this a society where when you make a mistake, you’re forever penalized? Everyone makes mistakes and they should be forgiven after they’ve been punished for them. You can’t just permanently punish someone for their mistakes because how can they learn from them if they’re finished after only error.
I think it’s high time that Margarito be re-embraced by boxing fans. The man has done his time, paid his price and is now looking to fight the biggest fight of his career against Manny Pacquiao on November 13th. This will be Margarito’s biggest payday of his career, and if he does the impossible and pulls off an upset of Pacquiao, he will be a huge star, whether some fans like it or not. I expect that the Nevada Athletic Commission will give Margarito his boxing license back so that the November 13th fight against Pacquiao will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Margarito will end up with a boxing license even if Nevada doesn’t give it to him. This fight is bigger than Margarito’s past mistake, and the money is too huge for one of the Commissions to deny the talented Margarito his boxing license.
Few boxing fans are giving Margarito much if any chance at beating Pacquiao. They see Margarito only for his last two fights against Mosley and Roberto Garcia. However, my guess is many of those same boxing fans would be picking Margarito if this was 2008. Margarito looked great at that time and was at the top of his game. But in the Mosley fight, Margarito came in weight drained and not in the best of shape. It wasn’t that he lost anything; it was that he had taken off too much weight in too short of a time frame. This won’t be the case on November 13th. We’ll be seeing the old Margarito and I think he’s going to give Pacquiao a lot of problems and very possibly beat him up and stop him the same way that Margarito stopped the hard hitting Kermit Cintron on two occasions in the past.