Yesterday afternoon the CSAC (California State Athletic Commission) voted against licensing boxer Antonio Margarito to fight in their state, even though Margarito had successfully completed a prior 1-year suspension.
The conversation regarding Antonio Margarito brings about discussion that sometimes allows a perspective to be slanted in what defintely could have been a tragic situation.
Had not the team of Shane Mosley caught the doctored gloves on the night of hs fight with Margarito, who knows what the otcome would have been?
We do know of the tragedy suffered back in 1983 when a light hitting welterweight boxer named Luis Resto, then 20-8-2, with 8 KO’s, gave a severe beating to “Irish” Billy Collins, Jr., an up-and-coming star who boasted a record of 14-0, with 11 KO’s.
It was later discovered by Collins’ father/trainer Billy Collins, Sr. when giving the customary congratulatory handshake that the gloves of Resto were paper thin.
The gloves were later found to have had the padding removed as well as Resto’s knuckles taped over, literally encasing Resto’s fists in a cast inside of the gloves.
Billy Collins, Jr. was never the same, and some believe that the downward spiral of Collins life (which ended in a tragic auto accident) could be directly attributed to what happened in the ring versus Luis Resto.
The man responsible for the glove tragedy, Carlos Humberto “Panama” Lewis, was sentenced to 3-years in the penitentiary, and Luis Resto spent 1-year behind bars.
The convictions enabled the NYSAC (New York State Athletic Commission) to upgrade the suspensions of both Lewis and Resto, to lifetime bans from the sport.
ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas is at the forefront in declaring Margarito be banned from boxing for life while continually ignoring the fact that the California State Athletic Commission is the organization that decided a 1-year suspension was sufficient.
Why no public outcry from boxing commissions around the country and all other organizations for the CSAC members to all be ousted for “gross negligence of duties” and relieved of their positions… immediately?
The comparisons are legitimately made to Resto and Margarito, with one glaring desparity.
Antonio Margarito has totally and completely , from day one, claimed his innocense in the entire matter.
Margarito’s trainer, Javier Capetillo, fully acknowledged he had “made a mistake” in putting “wrong inserts into the gloves” of Antonio Margarito and claimed the fighter had absolutely NO KNOWLEDGE of what had transpired.
Luis Resto’s trainer, “Panama” Lewis, has quite honestly never denied wrongdoing, but instead has been noted to just comment that he is “truly sorry for what happened, and swears it will never happen again”.
The application of Antonio Margarito to fight in California has been denied, but any other State in the country is allowed to accept the application, and approve it, because of the 1-year suspension handed down by California having been complied with completely.
Margarito served his suspension while never applying to fight ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD, and not being involved in any trouble at all, anywhere in the world.
This being said, Antonio Margarito has specifically adhered to all requirements of a suspension anywhere in the country, and should/will have his license to box approved somewhere in the country.
The Denver Pepsi Center is a venue that would be attractive as any in the country.
If Ofelia Duran (Department of Regulatory Operations), the 7-members of the Colorado Boxing Commission, and Josef Mason (Director of Boxing) come to realize that Margarito has has his application denied in California (which has nothing to do with him applying anywhere else), but can pass all eligibility reqirements to box in Colorado, the fight could possibly be made here.
Whether or not you agree with what possibly SHOULD have happened to Margarito and Capetillo, the fact remains they were suspended for 1-year by a California State Athletic Commission that is attempting to correct what they now feel was a mistake on their part.
By attempting to have the rest of the boxing commission’s in the country take part in what can be effectively be called a conspiracy to never allow Antonio Margarito the right to earn a living in the United States is not only wrong, but against everything our constitution stands for.
The proposed fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito should be booked for Denver’s Pepsi Center as soon as possible.
Bob Arum, boss at Top Rank Promotions, is looking for another state to have his bout
Should the application in the name of Antonio Margarito requesting a license to box in Colorado come across the desk of Josef Mason, he should approve the application wih the blessings of his boss, Ofelia Duran.
Stephen Johnson feature writes for INSIDE BOXING.com, UNTIL THE NEXT ROUND.com, and co-hosts INSIDE BOXING LIVE!