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Shame: Antonio Margarito still deserves a lifetime ban



(Believe it or not, the horrific episode above has nothing to do with this.)

Manny Pacquiao should be fighting Floyd Mayweather.  It’s the most obvious fight in the history of mankind.  As a fan of the sport and a vocal critic of the business model, I for one cannot understand how any boxing fan is all right with the repeated delays, conflicting excuses and flat-out refusals surrounding a Pacman-PBF match-up.  I swear, it’s enough to want all of the top talent in the sport under the same promotional umbrella.  But I digress.

From a practical fan point of view, I suppose I can understand not starting a revolution over it – they are not the only two boxers in the world, I just want to see them fight, Pacman/Floyd has nothing for Floyd/Pacman anyway, etc.  However, I can only question the depth of the sport’s talent pool when Manny Pacquiao is forced to fight Antonio Margarito in Texas while waiting for a massive, career-defining payday that may well never come – especially when Margarito should never be allowed to compete in professional sporting competition again.  Ever.

I’d argue that MMA fans have a slightly more lenient opinion towards cheating than fans of traditional stick and ball sports.  I am not one of those MMA fans that believes that half or more of the UFC’s roster is using steroids.  I don’t think that dodging the testing is that easy.  I don’t believe, for instance, that Chael Sonnen was responsibly cheating up until the biggest fight of his career, and then got sloppy – makes no sense to me.  Thus, since I don’t think everyone is doing it, I take steroid usage seriously, and hope to see the current independent (of the promotion) drug testing regime kept intact, with more/better testing.  Then again, more mundane examples of “cheating” – ie, a well timed grab of the cage, George Sotiropolous’ exploitation of the rules related to attire, milking a grazing knee while your thumb is touching the mat, running out the clock on a sure decision victory – are routinely defined as acceptable within the rubric of what is ultimately most important: winning the fight.  It’s been said that “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying” – a quote occasionally attached to the late Eddie Guerrero – and, given that you’re in a cage with a man/woman legally obliged to assault you, we correctly give certain leeway to exploiting the rules as it.

What Margarito did is infinitely worse.  It is another planet of cheating and must be identified as such.

In the hours before Margarito’s bout with Shane Mosley in January of 2009, Sugar Shane’s trainer noticed a pasty white substance on Margarito’s hand wraps.  Upon the Mosley camp’s insistence, Margarito’s hands were wrapped anew, and the offending pads contained in the original wrapping (in addition to another pad the CSAC confiscated from the locker room) were placed in a seal box for further investigation.  Later tests concluded that the wet wraps contained sulfur and calcium.  These elements form the basis of Plaster of Paris.  When combined with oxygen over time – say, the course of a 12 or 15 round boxing match – the three combine into a hard shell.  It’s about as close as one can come to just placing a horse shoe within one’s glove.

With freshly (legally) wrapped hands, Margarito was brutalized by Mosley en route to a TKO loss in the 9th.

Margarito was promptly suspended by the CSAC pending investigation and immediately plead ignorance, allowing his trainer to claim “a big mistake” was made.  What was that, exactly?  Misplacing your daughter’s art project supplies?  How does one end up with a number of hand wraps illegally tainted by a hardening agent in the locker room of a major boxing bout?  Were they used for sparring or something?  And even if we omit the rumors that evidence of similarly tainted wraps was seen after Margarito’s comeback win against Cotto (in which his punches seemed to do more damage as the fight went on) – who’s to say how many times he got away with it?  Is it impossible that Mosley’s trainer was merely the first to notice?

What does one have to do to get a lifetime ban in boxing?  In baseball, you can bet money on your own team and get booted for eternity, even if you happen to be the greatest hitter in the game’s history.  Boxing is a sport about two men punching each other – when you’re deliberately and secretly tinkering with your fists… I can’t imagine a more fundamental circumvention of the very essence of competition.  Agreements on terms, conditions, rules and regulations aren’t what stand between us and combat sports – they are what make combat sports possible.  To intentionally doctor your equipment in order to hurt another human being is unforgivable.

It’s cheating.  It’s dirty.  It’s dangerous.  I am sure I am opening myself to accusations of being a moral zealot, but that hasn’t stopped me before and it certainly won’t now.  The true shame of this is hardcore boxing fans – they now jump in front of arrows fired at their beloved sport as a reflex, without bothering to interpret the start point or content of the arrows themselves.  In boxing’s heyday, anyone caught using Plaster of Paris in their gloves would have been disgraced, because there were others to take his place in marquee bouts.  No mas, apparently.  Antonio Margarito disrespected everyone that has ever signed a fight contract.  He endangered his opponent(s?)’s well being.  He should never be sanctioned to fight in the United States ever again.  If this isn’t unforgivable, I don’t know what is.


  • Schrute Boxe

    well at least youre still concise and funny….

  • subo

    I don’t understand! This piece was neither!

    …you’re mocking me aren’t you

  • Grass Hoppa

    I also find it difficult to believe that he didn’t know what was happening with his hand wraps, i mean for fucks sake he was there watching them go on. In the end, his trainer took the wrap (duh dun, chish!) for him, so his trainer should have had a lifetime ban without question.

    I mean how can a trainer ‘mix up’ hand wraps/inserts? What the hell is he doing with anything soaked in plaster to fucking begin with?

    As for margarito himself, it was his wraps, and he needs to take some responsibilty, so impose a ban for sure. But unless you can prove without a doubt he knew what was going on, i find it difficult thing to impose a life ban.

    That said, I hope he gets he head caved in by the pacman!

    Also, a question for you subo:

    Do you feel josh barnett should also have a life time ban? I mean, once, shame on you, maybe even an innocent lab fuck up. Twice, shame on us for giving you a second chance. Three times, thats it – your out?

  • subo

    ^ Yes. Even MLB has a three strikes and you’re out policy for PED’s. Barnett hasn’t shown any contrition or remorse, and in fact brags about how he thinks it’s not a big deal. He also destroyed a great MMA card last time. Fuck him right in his ear.

  • frickshun

    Subotic–>I say we boycott this fight & watch Haye vs Harrison instead…..BWAHAHAAHAAHAHAAHAA.

    Oh boxing, how you slay me!!


    Subo you are such a piece of shit and a terrible mma blogger. You don’t give a shit about this or boxing at all.
    I don’t get how with the second to last WEC ever just took place and the free UFC card that has title implications is tomorrow you chose to write about this.
    Besides your blatant misfacts And terrible writing that’s neither funny or entertaining it’s all bullshit. This is just another way for you to say Hey, look how much better the UFC is than everyone else in the world.
    Everyday i find a new way to hate you, subo.

  • scissors61

    “Misfacts.” lol.

  • G Funk


    “If this isn’t unforgivable, I don’t know what is.” Maybe say, I don’t know…Your writing? Though I have to agree that Margarito is a filthy rat.

  • Reverend Clint

    tito ortiz said if u aint cheating u aint trying after he kept grabbing the cage during his fight with matt hammill. Yeah right why dont you explain your opinion instead of doing the writting equivelent of a drive by. By the way boxing is gay

  • subo

    What misfacts? What is a misfact?

    Are you actually saying I don’t write about Zuffa enough?

  • variable

    Wait, you mean that cheating goes on in combat sports…HOLY SHIT! I had no idea.

  • glassjawsh

    boxing is still meh and i will burn it in effigy when it is gone

  • agentsmith

    You know Subo, until now I’ve refrained from shitting on you like so many others around here… but Jesus Christ man, your self-righteousness is getting seriously intolerable these days. Especially in your comments lately you’ve been coming off like a whiny bitch, there’s no other way to put it. And the way you reacted to Brock’s loss was just pathetic. Grow the fuck up. I come to this site specifically because I DON’T want to see the kind of bleeding vagina tripe that belongs on Bloody Elbow.

  • Letibleu

    the video of Antonio Margarito making fun of Freddie Roaches parkinson.

  • subo

    Self righteousness? Ok, man.

  • Márcio

    That video of Margarito and the other dude making fun of Freddie Roach is fucked up. Margarito was coming across ok on the 24/7 show. All that means shit now, what a fuckin asshole.

  • GoldenArms

    oh god, I can only imagine how bad this article is. 10,000 words of subo pretending he’s the morale police. get on your soap box subo, a jobless moron is going to tell people how to run their lives.

  • Symbul

    Haha, Subo you’ve rallied people around Margarito, a bona fide scumbag. I’m not in the Subo fanclub but shit, Margarito deserves a spot in the unemployment line, not a payday against Pacman.

  • Komodo

    “and flat-out refusals surrounding a Pacman-PBF match-up”

    …Pretty Boy Floyd?

    That’s gonna’ be some one-sided shit.

    (nanu nanu :þ)

  • iamphoenix

    I agree with subo, margorita shouldn’t be blamed for this, it was Fedor’s fault.

  • Blackula Jonez

    Margarito and his corner deserves all the flaming diatribes hurled against them and more.

    That being said I think he is going to shock the world and defeat Manny.

    It will make Fedors loss and its ramifications across the mma world look like a minor inconvenience.

    Margarito via tko, i personally blame the cursed cowboy stadium.

  • Billytk

    I agree with the majority here, I can’t understand how this is allowed to continue. It’s absolutely unacceptable, whoever is allowing Subo to continue to write “articles” needs to have their head examined.

  • Jim

    Boxing is about making money & fighting. No room for morality.

  • cochra27

    Moustache guy does not approve.

  • glassjawsh

    didn;t read it. too many vowels

  • ugg

    Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that its up to other people that they will assist, so here it happens.