Antonio Margarito believes strongly that rival Miguel Cotto was protected by the New York State Athletic Commission's doctor this past Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, and that if the fight hadn't been stopped, a carbon copy finish of their 2008 battle was on the way. From Lem Satterfield:
"The doctor asked me three times how many fingers (he) was holding up. I responded correctly. I think that I could have continued, and I asked for at least one more round. But they didn't want to give it to me. There was nothing that we could do. We knew that coming to New York, something like this could happen."
... " "I really believed that if they didn't stop the fight, that it would be a copy of the first fight. We still had three rounds left, and it would been the same thing. I felt like this was a continuation of the first fight. ... All that I asked for was one more round."
Margarito (38-8, 27 KO) says he's not considering retirement from the sport or anything like that, and that soon he'll sit down with his team and map out what's next.
[ Related: Post-Fight Report Card ]
Margarito is an attractive opponent at this point -- he's famous/infamous, he's got name value remaining, and frankly he doesn't have a whole lot left in the ring. He's become incredibly slow and predictable, and has trouble exchanging punches the way he used to. He's much easier to hit and avoid than he ever was in the past. A lot is age, most is wear and tear. He was never going to last forever with his style.
Certainly he doesn't see himself as "an opponent," but it's just hard to imagine Margarito winning much at the top levels of the sport from here on out. Crazier things have happened, of course, but time is not on his side.