Puerto Rican welterweight star Miguel Cotto lost his only fight last July when he was worn out by Antonio Margarito. Now that Margarito has had his license revoked by California, Cotto says that Margarito should simply not be allowed to fight anywhere:
"You know what? If it was up to me, we should all abide by the rules. He was suspended for a year. I don't think he should fight. It's not right for him to fight somewhere else. He should abide by the rules. If he can't fight in the United States, then he shouldn't fight at all."
Bob Arum, the promoter of both men who has had his big Margarito-Cotto rematch shut down with the license revocation, disagrees with Cotto:
"He has a right to make a living, and Mexico, in certain places, has indicated that they will provide him with a license. I'm his promoter and I will do what's best for him."
Arum is right. Margarito does have a right to make a living. Only I disagree that he currently has the right to make that living in a boxing ring. He committed one of the sport's ultimate sins. Arum and trainer Javier Capetillo both contend that Margarito is innocent, by insinuating Margarito is too stupid to know what's going on with his hand wraps. Capetillo even claims that he made a mistake with the wraps. Twice, I suppose. And a discolored mistake. With what looked like an "old blood stain" on it.
If you are going to buy this crock, you have to accept that Arum and Capetillo think you're an idiot.
Fact is, right now, the suspension almost certainly means Margarito is a liar and a bit of a fraud, and if he's done it once, there's almost no doubt he's actually gone through with it before. Maybe against Cotto, which is the most "suspicious" of his wins.
For Arum to continue to staunchly support the boxing career of Antonio Margarito is offensive. Margarito and Capetillo broke a serious rule. This wasn't a positive test for a goofy diet supplement that has been banned, or a blatant elbow when the fighting gets rough inside.
I also think he may be making a business mistake assuming people are going to ignore or easily forgive Margarito's transgression. But Bob's a far better businessman than I am, so we'll see about that.
As for what Cotto will do should he get by Michael Jennings on February 21 as we all expect he will emphatically do, titleholders Shane Mosley (WBA) and Andre Berto (WBC) are both in the running. Arum says Berto may be the better financial arrangement for Cotto, but I don't see it. No matter if it's a 50-50 split with Mosley or a better Cotto split against Berto, the guarantee for a Mosley fight -- which can be sold on PPV, while Berto probably can't -- has to be a lot better, doesn't it?