Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Cotto-Margarito: No, Bob… Saturday Night’s Not All Right

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

Quick… someone get Luis Resto on the phone.

And ask the once-wily Puerto Rican, now 56 years old, what he’ll be doing on Saturday night.

If I were him, it would have zero to do with Madison Square Garden.

You know the place. Big building. Midtown Manhattan.

Bills itself as the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”

But for Resto, a fringe contender in the 147-154 corridor three decades ago, it’s something else.

The place his career ended.

Make that the place where his career rightfully ended.

Because before we get too far afield, make no mistake.

This is in no way an apologist moan for Resto, who was complicit in the biggest in-ring crime of my generation. A crime that many claim started a downturn that ultimately cost another man – a once-unbeaten kid named Billy Collins – his life.

Anyone who’s paid attention since 1983 knows the story.

Tampered gloves. Vehement denials. Lifetime suspensions.

And eventually, tearful admissions in front of documentary cameras of all-too-painful knowledge.

Resto knew what was going on. Yet he went ahead and did it.

And no matter how you slice it, that made him a sporting criminal of the vilest sort.

So it’s sort of ironic that on Saturday night, a full 28 years, five months and 17 days later… another hoodlum – whose only defense is that his act resulted in no death – gets a chance Resto never did.

Another redemption. Another payday. Another chance to shine.

In the same building where Resto’s spotlight faded.

Rather than being exiled, as Resto was, to begging for tenuous connection to the sport 28 years later, Margarito will be in center ring at Madison Square Garden.

Paycheck in the bank. Title on the line.

Resto’s people removed padding. Margarito’s added what amounted to plaster.

One man goes away forever.

Another hides out for a year and comes back for a second title try in 13 months.

Never mind that veteran fighters, trainers and analysts have insisted there's no way a guy with Margarito's experience – he'd been a pro for 15 years when he met Shane Mosley in 2009 – couldn’t have known something up with the hand wrap done that night by Javier Capetillo.

Doesn’t matter.

Because he artfully sold the "who me?" line and because the offense was detected before the fight and not after Mosley had been violated, the two-time champ got the benefit of the doubt when it came to proper punishment for what went on in Los Angeles.

And through the magic of Bob Arum… he’s title material again.

Resto made similar hollow claims, with a less than similar marketing machine. 

But regardless of the Top Rank spin, just because Margarito didn't get away with it doesn't mean it wasn't a crime. Just because Bob says it's OK now doesn't mean he’s any less loathsome for doing so. And just because they put it on TV and call it a title fight, doesn’t mean we have to buy in.

Nobody asked me… but I’ll be saving the plane fare, the hotel room and my conscience.

And when I wake up Sunday morning, I’ll be hoping to read that everyone got what they deserved.

Good luck, Miguel.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

WEDNESDAY
IBO super featherweight title – Mt. Claremont, Australia
Will Tomlinson (No. 35 contender) vs. Alan Herrera (No. 49 contender)
      
Tomlinson (17-0-1, 12 KO): First title fight; Three fights past eight rounds (3-0, 0 KO)
Herrera (26-3, 17 KO): First title fight; Second fight outside Mexico (0-1, 0 KO)
Fitzbitz says: “Still on the fringe of the elite, but hometowner gets a belt.” Tomlinson by decision
 
WBA featherweight title – Mt. Claremont, Australia
Chris John (champion) vs. Stanyslav Merdov (No. 11 contender)
      
John (45-0-2, 22 KO): Fourteenth title defense; Zero stoppage wins since 2008 (4-0-1)
Merdov (32-7, 24 KO): First title fight; One 12-round fight since 2007 (1-0)
Fitzbitz says: “Indonesian star continues grinding in anonymity.” John by decision
  
WBC cruiserweight title – Mt. Claremont, Australia
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (champion) vs. Danny Green (No. 15 contender)
Wlodarczyk (45-2-1, 32 KO): Third title defense; Held IBF title (2006-07, zero defenses)
Green (31-4, 27 KO): Tenth title fight (6-3, 4 KO); Held titles at 175 (WBA) and 200 (IBO) pounds 
Fitzbitz says: “Ex-champ rebounds in backyard return.” Green in 9
 
FRIDAY
WBA middleweight title – Mannheim, Germany

Felix Sturm (champion) vs. Martin Murray (No. 3 contender)
Sturm (36-2-1, 15 KO): Eleventh title defense; Unbeaten since 2006 (11-0-1, 4 KO)
Murray (23-0, 10 KO): First title fight; Three straight wins by stoppage (12 rounds)
Fitzbitz says: “Like John, Sturm continues to cruise in shadows.” Sturm by decision
 
SATURDAY
IBF bantamweight title – Anaheim, Calif.

Abner Mares (champion) vs. Joseph Agbeko (No. 3 contender)     
Mares (22-0-1, 13 KO): First title defense; Beat Agbeko in August (MD 12)
Agbeko (28-3, 22 KO): Seventh title fight; Two reigns as IBF champion (two defenses) 
Fitzbitz says: “Frenetic body punching makes rematch win more clear.” Mares by decision

WBA/IBO bantamweight titles – Anaheim, Calif.
Anselmo Moreno (WBA champion) vs. Vic Darchinyan (IBO champion)     
Moreno (31-1-1, 11 KO): Ninth title defense; First fight in United States
Darchinyan (37-3-1, 27 KO): Second title defense; Held belts at 112, 115 and 118 pounds 
Fitzbitz says: “Smooth South American champion out-styles caveman Aussie.” Moreno by decision

WBA super welterweight title – New York, N.Y.
Miguel Cotto (champion) vs. Antonio Margarito (No. 4 contender)      
Cotto (36-2, 29 KO): Second title defense; Lost to Margarito in 2008 (KO by 11)
Margarito (38-7, 27 KO): Fifteenth title fight; Held IBF, WBA, WBO titles at 147 pounds  
Fitzbitz says: “Wiser Puerto Rican finishes job started three years ago.” Cotto by decision
   
WBC featherweight title – Mexico City, Mexico
Jhonny Gonzalez (champion) vs. Roinet Caballero (No. 9 contender)      
Gonzalez (50-7, 44 KO): Third title defense; Ten straight wins by stoppage (29 rounds)
Caballero (31-10-1, 22 KO): Second title fight; Second fight outside Panama (0-1)
Fitzbitz says: “Slugging champion continues impressive resurgence.” Gonzalez in 9

NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full- fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA “world championships” are only included if no “super champion” exists in the weight class.

Last week's picks: 3-1
Overall picks record: 267-88 (75.2 percent)

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-30-2011

[QUOTE=willybullet;11495918]Right, but one can be criminally prosecuted for an attempted crime. Robbery and attempted robbery are both felonies. So even though Margs didn't use the inserts against Mosley, couldn't he be charged with attempted criminal battery (assault)? And again, if…

Comment by Doc Holliday on 11-30-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;11494817]Resto got caught red-handed. [B]AFTER[/B] the event. Margarito got caught red-handed, [B]BEFORE[/B] the event. So, Margarito was not convicted for [B]using[/B] loaded gloves, he was convicted for [B]attempting[/B] to use loaded gloves. Like robbery vs attempted robbery. The thing is,…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-30-2011

[QUOTE=willybullet;11492733][B]but if Margs = Resto, why didn't he actually go to jail?[/B] And if an actual plaster block fell out of Margarito's wraps, why did team Mosley agree to go through with the fight anyway? Either the charges are not…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 11-30-2011

[QUOTE=EAAE;11492671]Fair enough i could be wrong, im going on wikipedia, i even wrote 'not that i believe everything i read' i havent seen the documentary and will keep an open mind when watching it but to tell u the truth,…

Comment by EAAE on 11-30-2011

[QUOTE=Revilo;11492812]Cotto is a disgrace to boxing, his country and his family. I've never seen anyone be such a sore whiny loser and excuse making sissy. He's lost all his big fights and only managed to squeak by and old Mosley…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (83)
Top Headlines Murat Gassiev May Be Abel Sanchez's Latest Masterpiece Team Horn Warn Thurman: Shut Mouth or Suffer Pacquiao's Fate! Dmitry Bivol Salivates Over Expected Gassiev vs. Dorticos Clash CompuBox: Fox Landed '52' Punches in 12 Rounds With Andrade Stiverne: I Guarantee That I'll Beat Deontay Wilder in Rematch! CompuBox: Murata Lands a Big 56.5% of Power Shots on N'Dam Felix Verdejo Ring Return Targeted For January, Says Manager Promoter: I Want To Match Andrade Against Elite at 160 - ASAP! Schaefer: If U.S. Networks Aren't Interested in WBSS, So Be It Dorticos: All Gassiev Did Was Beat 'Old' Opponent in Wlodarczyk Photos: Ryota Murata Gets Revenge, Stops Hassan N'Dam Denis Lebedev: I Think Yunier Dorticos Will Beat Murat Gassiev Maliek, Mikhail and Michael Jr. Montgomery Get KO Wins Juho Haapoja Loses EU Title, Announces His Retirement Jezreel Corrales: I Was Winning on All 3 Cards, I Want a Rematch! Demetrius Andrade Vacates WBA Belt - Focused on Murata, GGG Ryota Murata: I'll Try My Best To Beat Gennady Golovkin! Photos: Alberto Machado Bombs Jezreel Corrales For WBA Title Dorticos: I Want To Destroy Gassiev, He Will Face a Real Man! Photos: Murat Gassiev, Yunier Dorticos - Go Face To Face! Schaefer: I Learned From The Mistakes of The Super Six Tourney Anthony Joshua: I Asked For Dillian Whyte After Pulev Withdrew Murata Dominant in Rematch, Makes N’Dam Quit After 7th Round Photos: Murat Gassiev Blasts Out Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Three Photos: Ryan Burnett Beats Zhakiyanov To Unify WBA, IBF Belts Photos: Josh Warrington Takes Out Ceylan, Earns Lee Selby Shot Sakio Bika, Tim Tszyu Pick Up Solid Wins in Sydney Bouts Mock vs. Chudinov Deal in Place For November 25 Andrade: I Did Very Well in 160 Debut, I'll Fight Anybody! Karim Mayfield Decisons Miguel Dumas in San Francisco Gassiev Sees Joshua, Wilder in His Future: I'll Unify, Then Move Up! N'Dam vs. Murata - CompuBox Reflects on First Fight Stats Why Malignaggi Should Quiet Down. And Why He Won't. Machado: He Hurt Me a Few Times, But I Got The Punch I Needed Hassan N'Dam vs. Ryota Murata II: Pre-Fight Report Card Maciej Sulecki: I Want Jermell Charlo Next, I Want The Title Shot Alberto Machado Gets Off The Floor, Knocks Jezreel Corrales Out Jezreel Corrales-Alberto Machado - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Demetrius Andrade Makes 160 Debut, Dominates Alantez Fox Carlos Jimenez Knocks Out Pedro Campa in Shocker
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement